Emphasis is on veterans in workplace — and remembrance

Veterans Holder Photo

Well over a century ago, Abraham Lincoln urged Americans to “honor the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause.”

Those words have been heeded since Veterans Day began in 1919, following the end of World War I. This year, as Nov. 11 approaches, several respectful events are planned.

On Saturday, Hero Day will be in downtown Salisbury, beginning at 8 a.m.

Created by City Council President Jake Day, the event was designed to benefit both homeless veterans and to build a fund to match service dogs to wounded, returning soldiers.

It will feature what Day called a “5K run-walk-roll-ruck” at 8:30, a dog walk at 10:30, breakfast by Sobo’s Catering and music.

Disc jockeys from Froggy 99.9 radio will be there.

“You will be helping homeless veterans and wounded warriors. One-hundred percent of race proceeds benefit Camp Royal Oak shelter and 100 percent of the dog walk proceeds benefit the Warrior Canine Connection,” Day said.

Local businessman Chris Eccleston helped Day plan the event.

“It’s to celebrate veterans and first responders,” said Eccleston, who owns Delmarva Veteran Builders, a commercial construction company staffed by veterans because, he said, “they get the job done.”

“They are trained. Whatever skill set they have while training, they maintain that. They have drive and focus and don’t take no for answer.

“Having that mindset is valuable to business and it’s valuable to me and it should also be valuable to others,” said Eccleston, who opened his business about a year ago.

A veteran of the U.S. Navy, where he served from 2000 to 2006, Eccleston said he will continue hiring veterans so he can honor them through his business and as a private citizen

“I wanted to start this business because the veteran unemployment rate is 2 to 4 percent higher than the national average,” he said.

“This gives me a chance to help them.”

Also to commemorate Veterans Day, there will be a ceremony at Salisbury University at 1 p.m. Nov. 11, on the front steps of Holloway Hall.

The free event will begin with the Wicomico High School Junior ROTC color guard and the Peninsulaires barbershop chorus singing The National Anthem.

Speakers will include SU President Janet Dudley-Eshbach, Student Military and Veterans Association President Nick Engelhardt and Vice President Connor Cooney, as well as Day.

A reception will follow in the social room in Holloway Hall. The public is welcome.

At 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, there will be a ceremony at the Wicomico County War Memorial, in front of the Wicomico Youth & Civic Center. It will be moved inside, in case of rain.

There will be patriotic music and prayer and veterans will be remembered, thanked and honored.

The location was chosen because it is a living war memorial to veterans, with flags from each branch of the military, plus flags representing the United States, Maryland and Wicomico County.

There is also a POW-MIA flag that flies over a brick wall that displays plaques with the 187 names of the county’s fallen heroes, according to a news release issued by the county.

See http://www.wicomicociviccenter.org/about-the-center/war-memorial.

Contact Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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