A 'sunset salute' planned for Methuen's veterans

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Jul. 14—METHUEN — Veterans and their families are set to gather next Thursday night for a sunset ceremony at the Merrimack Valley Golf Club, with the city's Veterans Services office honoring those who served during a fete featuring appetizers, cocktails and music under the backdrop of the course's veterans flag memorial.

"Methuen has a long history of honoring our veterans and this is just another way to thank them for their service," says Paul Jensen, the city's veterans services officer.

The free event takes place July 22 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at 210 Howe St., with golf carts available to shuttle guests from the parking lot to the event near the course's 17th hole, organizer Kevin Kattar said. To RSVP for the event, contact Jensen at 978-983-8585 no later than Thursday.

The Kattar family, which owns the golf course, helped design and fund the memorial — which features flags from every branch of the military — along with private donations several years ago, Kattar said.

"We're so, so proud of the memorial as a family, but a lot of people locally contributed. It was a nice project. We just wanted to do something for the vets to let them know we're still thinking of them as we always should," Kattar said of next week's event, adding that his father, uncle and cousins are all military veterans.

According to Methuen's veterans service office, nearly 5,000 veterans reside in the city.

Additional veterans-related events are being planned in Methuen over the next few months, Jensen said.

A ceremony designating Methuen as a Purple Heart community takes place Aug. 7 at 10 a.m. at VFW Post 8349, 26 River St., where Purple Heart recipients will be honored. The ceremony is being put on by the VFW with the assistance of city councilors Jessica Finocchiaro and Mike Simard, according to the VFW's David O'Neil. Purple Heart recipients are asked to call (978) 686-9626 in order to be recognized at the ceremony.

Flags are also currently on sale to mark the city's Field of Honor Week from Oct. 2-10. For a $100 donation, flags will be flown on the front lawn of Nevins Library for one week to honor those who served, with a dedication ceremony taking place on Oct. 2. At the conclusion of the week, donors will receive the flag, a pole and mounting equipment to display the flag at home and customized dog tags. Flags may be reserved by calling 978-983-8585, with proceeds supporting veterans' programming in Methuen.

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