Sept. 11 ceremony in Hampton to honor war dead
And for the first time since the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began, no new names have been added to the granite memorial this year.
Ralph Fatello, commander of American Legion Post 35, which is sponsoring the 6 p.m. ceremony, said it’s a bittersweet moment. “Each year, we were always hoping this would be the last one we’d add.
“We’re all thankful, obviously, but when you look at those 57 names on there, it’s hard to be happy about it,” he said. “At least there’s no new names.”
This year, the Global War on Terrorism Memorial Monument will have new artwork, featuring the Old Man of the Mountain and the Lady of the Seas from the Marine memorial. That memorial on Hampton Beach, erected in the 1940s during another era of war, has been the traditional site of local Memorial Day and Veterans Day observances, Fatello noted.
This year’s event will focus on the 57 warriors whose names are engraved on the monument in chronological order, Fatello said. Their families have been invited to attend, and veterans will share the stories of those memorialized.
Fatello noted Gov. John Lynch, who has attended the Sept. 11 event here every year since the monument went up in 2006, will attend the ceremony for the last time as the state’s chief executive. “How fitting for him to be there this last time,” he said.
Fatello, a Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War, said it’s been important for his generation to honor this new group of soldiers.
“We all made a ... conscious decision amongst ourselves, saying we’re not going to sit by and let another generation of veterans go off to war and come back and not be thanked for their service,” he said. “And it’s just so great to see it just taking off.”
Tuesday’s ceremony will be held at the American Legion Post 35 Hall, 69 High St. The public is invited, and refreshments will be served after the ceremony.
► Click here to view a list of soldiers with NH ties who died during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
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