, Salem, MA


May 15, 2014

Our view: Cheers, jeers for recent newsmakers


CHEERS to patience and perseverance, in this case on the part of the Wenham War Veterans Memorial Committee. It took seven years before planners were able to break ground on the project on Monday.

“It’s so rewarding to see it actually take place now,” former Selectman John Clemenzi told reporter Ethan Forman. “It’s a great recognition for those who have given so much.”

The monument, to be built on Arbor Street across from Town Hall, will be a 17-foot granite obelisk topped by a globe with an eagle landing on the United States. Bronze plaques will circle the bottom, and the monument will be surrounded by benches and greenery.

The $240,000 cost of the project comes from a mix of town, state and private funding, including generous contributions from Wenham residents.

The monument will be inscribed with the names of town veterans who served during World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will be included once Congress determines the dates for those wars, said Bruce Blanchard, the memorial committee co-chair.

It is a fitting tribute. We agree with Blanchard, who said “These veterans gave ... some their lives, some just their livelihoods, but they should be honored.”

Finally, a combination jeers/cheers for the WGN America show “Salem.” The Sunday night drama, which imagines a witch-hysteria era where the witches actually exist — and have supernatural powers — has increased interest in the modern Salem. Kate Fox, the city’s tourism director, says the popularity of the show has meant increased traffic for the city’s visitor website,

“The first week the show aired, our Web traffic went up about 20 percent,” Fox told reporter Neil H. Dempsey. “We definitely see a little bit of a bump on Sunday nights.”

Fox hopes the increased interest will lead to a busier tourism season, so CHEERS to that.

A hearty JEERS, however, to the show itself, a dark, turgid mess that has little in common with our city or its history. Those hoping to look past inane scripts and wooden acting to see glimpses of real-life Salem will be disappointed — the show films in Louisiana.

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