, Salem, MA

December 6, 2013

Letter: Thank you to city, veterans

— To the editor:

I attended Salem’s Veterans Day ceremony on Monday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. — better known as the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month — at Salem High School and would like to publicly thank and acknowledge the leadership team responsible for a truly wonderful event.

The Salem High School band was platinum-level awesome, per usual, as was the Salem High School ROTC color guard. Salem’s veterans agent, Kim F. Emerling, Roger Leger of the Salem Veterans Council and its members outdid themselves yet again organizing and handling all the logistical work involved.

Congratulations to the many veterans present who received the Salem Medals of Honor for 2013.

Thank you to Mayor Kimberley Driscoll, city councilors, state Sen. Joan Lovely and state Rep. John Keenan for your presence and tributes. Thank you to the Salem Garden Club for its Blue Star Memorial By-Way marker to be placed near Immaculate Conception Church, honoring all past, present and future armed forces veterans. Thank you also for the granite column, which was graciously donated by the Mackey family. Thank you to retired U.S. Navy Capt. Tim Ready for a well-written dialogue that spoke to all of us in the audience. Perhaps most importantly, a heartfelt “thank you for your service” to all veterans who attended the ceremony and to veterans everywhere.

In closing, this year, the city of Salem is honored to play a role in the national Wreaths Across America project, which takes place on Saturday, Dec. 14, at noon in Greenlawn Ceremony. This project honors those that went before us by placing holiday wreaths on the graves of Salem veterans.

If anyone reading this letter is interested in sponsoring a holiday wreath for a veteran at this remembrance ceremony, they can send a $15 check payable to: Witch City VFW Post 1524 c/o 95 Derby Street, Salem, MA 01970 Attn: Wreaths Project.

Additional information can be viewed at

“Land of the free, because of the brave.”

Malia Griffin

Wreaths Across America volunteer