“This is a very important reminder of the sacrifice our military men and women make every day to preserve our freedom,” Salem State President Patricia Meservey told the crowd.
Michael Colotti, a vice president at Osram Sylvania and former U.S. Army captain, hailed the former company employees for going “above the call of duty, honor and country.”
Several speakers mentioned that the ceremony would not have taken place without the efforts of Dan Mackey, a Salem contractor who died just days ago.
Mackey knew the broken memorial had been placed in storage and urged the Salem Veterans Council to put it back on the former Sylvania property and to hold a rededication ceremony.
“Without his advocacy, it would still be lying in pieces in storage,” Meservey said.
As a last wish for Mackey, a World War II-era plane flew over during the ceremony in tribute to the Sylvania workers.
At Mackey’s wake last week, Roger Leger, commander of the Salem Veterans Council, observed that “old soldiers never die,” quoting from Gen. Douglas MacArthur’s famous farewell address to Congress.
That same sentiment applied yesterday, Leger said, to the Sylvania workers whose names are inscribed on the marble memorial.
“They will always be here,” he said, “and they will always be remembered.”
Tom Dalton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.