Events & Activities

Fallen Defenders—Past to Present
Saturday, May 23 from 10 am to 4 pm on the Museum Grounds

Respect is required at this Memorial Day Weekend event: attendees are expected to wear face masks and maintain a social distance of six feet from the historians and from other attendees.

On Saturday, May 23 from 10 am to 4 pm, experience a unique display of Fallen Soldier Battle Crosses for almost every major conflict in American history from the Revolutionary War through Operation Inherent Resolve. The display will be set up on the grounds of the Salem Museum and is presented by the 24th Virginia Infantry Living Historians, who will be onsite to answer questions.

Traditionally, in conflicts past, the spot where a soldier or a marine fell in battle was marked by a helmet placed on a rifle with its bayonet thrust into the ground. This marker was a powerful symbol of respect, but also of courage, sacrifice and loss.

Our current day military rarely has the need to mark the locations of the fallen. Instead, the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross is often displayed at memorial services that are held after a battle. The Fallen Soldier Battle Cross combines the helmet, rifle, and boots of each fallen comrade as part of a visual tribute.

The Salem Museum is currently closed.

WHEN WE REOPEN: It’s the Bee’s Knees! Salem in the Roaring Twenties
Main Gallery Exhibit:  Ongoing

The Salem Museum takes a look back at life in our hometown a century ago with a new main gallery feature exhibit. The exhibit will include personal stories, artifacts, and photographs that explore everyday life—and the nightlife—of the Roaring Twenties. Icons of the decade are also included: a still that produced a lot of moonshine in the ‘20s and six flamboyant flapper dresses from the Museum’s collection. Read more…