War Memorial to be dedicated Monday

A photo from last year when volunteers began restoration of the 1955 Wicomico County War Memorial in north Salisbury.

The 1955 War Memorial on North Salisbury Boulevard near Priscilla Street, now repaired and upgraded, will be dedicated at a ceremony at 2 p.m. on Memorial Day.

Erected to honor fallen veterans from Wicomico County who served in World War I, World War II or the Korean War, the memorial had fallen into disrepair and was heavily renovated.

Improvements include fountain and sprinkler system repairs, tiling in the plaza area, finer landscaping and new concrete, new electrical lighting system and new flag poles.

Work was performed by Delmarva Veteran Builders, R&R Coatings Inc., members of the War Memorial Committee, city employees and volunteers.

A short portion of North Division Street was closed to make the area more accessible.

Much of the funding was donated, after a GoFundMe page was set up, and more than $20,000 was contributed.

In 1955, the memorial was completed by the county citizens, with support of the local Posts of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“The 32-foot concrete Memorial located along Route 13 at the intersection of Priscilla Street is dedicated to those Wicomico Countians who have lost their lives in the service of their country.

“A bronze plaque donated by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars and 200-pound bronze eagle at the top of the monument are registered with the Maryland Military Monuments Commission,” according to a history of the memorial.

In April 2016, Mayor Jake Day cut open the memorial’s sealed cylinder that contained a scroll with the names of some 156 Wicomico County service men.

The names are of those who died are from World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The cylinder had been entombed in the War Memorial for over 60 years.

At the opening, Senior Conservator Vicki Lee from the Maryland Archives was on hand to ensure that the integrity of the documents was properly maintained.

In 2015, about 20 committee members were excited about raising funds for the monument and quarter-acre site and adding poles with flags representing each branch of the military, along with other upgrades.

“There were years where some of it was overgrown. There were some holly trees planted there that had been pulled out. It was in disrepair. We want to improve it and establish it,” Lee Beauchamp, Committee Vice Chairman, said at the time.

The idea to restore the half-acre that surrounds the memorial originated with Greg Peoples, who lives nearby.

The memorial was built by county citizens with the help of American Legion and VFW members “at a time when the heartaches and losses of some of our nation’s most hard-fought conflicts were still very fresh,” according to a news release about the upgrades.

Reach Susan Canfora at scanfora@newszap.com.

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