Events honoring veterans planned in Mardela Springs

On July Fourth,  Westside Historical Society will have a special program for Independence Day celebrations with the dedication of a program which began last fall, the public exhibit of dozens of banners honoring local veterans, displayed from the street light poles along the streets of Mardela Springs.

Each banner has been sponsored by a family member or loved one who served our nation in the military at some time in its history, or are presently serving. The oldest veteran banner is from World War One, and several are from recent years or are still serving.  A number of World War Two vets are included, the oldest living one being Melvin Bradley.  Each banner carries a picture of the veteran being honored, the branch of service and date of service, and other information supplied by the sponsor. Some, sadly bear the notation KIA, some proudly proclaim honors – Bronze Star, Silver Star, Purple Heart, and others.  The banners will stay up until Veterans Day, and then be displayed again for the next two years, beginning around Memorial Day.  Sponsors also receive two small banners that can be used as they wish. Veterans do NOT have to be residents of Mardela Springs.  

The idea for the project began last summer, when Westside Historical Society Board members Charlie and Melissa Echard were visiting near Pittsburgh, and saw a similar display of local veterans being honored. Their son Chase, a student at Mardela High School, said “Why don’t we do that in Mardela Springs?”  When they returned home, he and dad Charles presented the idea to WHS and the Board unanimously embraced it. It was officially launched as a project in November.  Charles Echard agreed to Chair the program, and his father , Charles Echard Sr., a WW II fighter pilot, is on one of the banners.  Since then approximately 40 banners have been ordered.  But orders can still be taken until mid-August this year. Later than that they would only fly for a few weeks. However, applications submitted after that will be displayed next Memorial Day and still be put up for three years.

The Dedication Program will begin at 11 a.m.  on the grounds of the Adkins Historical Museum & Complex on Bratten Street and Railroad Avenue.  Since this is the day the Adkins Historical society presents its annual Old Fashioned Fourth of July celebration, it seemed a most appropriate pairing of activities.  This Dedication is open to public, and Retired Brig. General Anthony Sarbanes will deliver a short address.  The name of each veteran featured on a banner will be read, along with a statement of their service, and sponsors will receive the small personal banners.  Chairs for the sponsors will be reserved, but others might want to bring a lawn chair.  Parking will be available on nearby streets.  As part of the Adkins Fourth of July celebrations, food will be available, and there also will be music and other entertainments.  Westside Historical Society will offer free tours of the Barren Creek Heritage Museum at 413 Main St. from 12 to 2 p.m.  There is no admission to any of the day’s festivities,

For more information email Westside Historical Society at  or phone 443-783-9612 or 410-72-8047.



As your community newspaper, we are committed to making Salisbury a better place. You can help support our mission by making a voluntary contribution to the newspaper.
Facebook Comment