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SHARON Town sends big message of support



Published: Sat, September 22, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



A local family urges passers-by to show support by signing their billboards.

By HAROLD GWIN

VINDICATOR SHARON BUREAU

SHARON, Pa. -- Mark and Charise Palermo felt they needed to show the survivors of the terrorist attacks in New York City and the Washington, D.C., area that people in small towns are behind them.

To do it, they've erected two 4-by-8-foot billboards on their front lawn at 517 McCleery St. and are urging all passers-by to stop to sign them.

One will go to New York with a shipment of supplies for rescue workers Sunday. The other will go to the Pentagon at a later date.

"My wife and I just decided we wanted to show these people that we care, even though we're 500 miles away," Palermo said.

City forces: The city's police and fire chiefs have indicated they want all of their officers and firefighters to sign them, Palermo said.

Relatives and some local businesses donated most of the materials for the billboards, he said.

The Palermos put up the first one 10 days ago, but the response was so overwhelming they decided to add a second, he said.

"There are hundreds of names there," Palermo said, noting the billboards are lighted at night so people can stop and sign them at any time.

"There's people coming [at] 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning," he said.

This is one way the people in New York and the D.C. area can know that "our hearts are bleeding as well," his wife said.

Support: Palermo said he's most impressed by the outpouring of emotion, support and good will the billboards have drawn.

"If everyone could stay like this all the time, what a world it would be," he mused.

The billboards aren't the only sign of support on the Palermo house. They've got an American flag hanging on their front porch and a 12-by-20-foot American flag on their roof.

It's lighted, so it stays up 24 hours a day, Palermo said.

gwin@vindy.com




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