Flag Service Sunday Attended By Hundreds

Rita G. Palmer Table of Contents

Letters From National And State Officials Show Keen Interest In Armed Forces
And Pay Tribute To Dedication Ceremony Here

Hampton Union, Thursday, February 18, 1943 -- Price Five Cents

The dedication of the service flag of the Kiwanis Club of the Hamptons at the Auditorium of the Hampton Academy and High School on Sunday afternoon proved a heartening tribute to the 198 men and women of Hampton, North Hampton and Hampton Falls, now in the armed forces, and to the memory of Lincoln H. Akerman, killed in action in the South Pacific area last November [1942]. Over 500 representative residents of the three historic towns were emotionally stirred by the splendid program.

Academy Band Participates

To the strains of a stirring march played by the [Hampton] Academy Band under the direction of Mrs. Esther B. Coombs, the participants in the program and the invited guests were ushered to their places on the platform by Dean B. Merrill, head usher, after which President Ralph Harris opened the exercises in the usual manner of all Kiwanis meetings.

The audience stood to sing the first verse of America and heard an impressive invocation by the Rev. Fr. Carl Harold, chaplain of the Portsmouth Navy Yard. Then Mrs. Harris introduced Hon. John W. Perkins as chairman. In presenting Mr. John W. Hopley for the dedication Judge Perkins commented on Mr. Hopley's splendid record as a national leader of the Boy Scouts of America and as a Kiwanian.

Hopley Dedicates The Flag

Mr. Hopley's introductory remarks were a call for dedication on the part of every citizen to the war effort and then Mr. Hopley invited the audience to rise for the solemn act of dedication. As he and the audience faced the platform the service flag, bathed in a flood-light, was lowered at the back of the stage in a brief, beautifully worded tribute to the men and women whom the flag represents, he dedicated the banner which soon will be hung over the Lafayette Road in front of Odd Fellows Building in Hampton Center.

Dedication Prayer Impressive

The dedication prayer of Rev. Floyd G. Kinsley, pastor of the Congregational Church was especially well thought out and deeply impressive as it had been arranged so that the audience participated.

Then Chairman Perkins presented the three pastors who read the Roll of Honor: Rev. Harold J. Wilson, pastor of the Advent Christian Church of Hampton; Rev. Joseph D. Burnett, pastor of the Congregational Church of North Hampton, and Rev. Harry L. Smith, pastor of the Baptist Church of Hampton Falls. The chairman announced that Mr. Smith had been commissioned a Chaplain in the Army of the United States with rank of Lieutenant.

The simple act of reading these lists of names was accomplished with so much of dignity and solemnity by the three clergymen that this portion of the program will long remain in the minds of those who were privileged to be present.

Taps For Lincoln Akerman

As Mr. Smith concluded his list, he paid a simple and moving tribute to the memory of Lincoln H. Akerman, the young man who laid down his life on the altar of freedom in the far-a-way islands of the South Pacific last November, following which Bernard Marks, Trumpeter of Hampton, played "Taps." Tears ran unheeded downs the faces of many of the more than 500 present as the beautiful, haunting strains of the trumpet rang through the hall in a tribute of farewell to a brave boy whose sacrifice is not unheeded by the folks at home.

Masterful Orator-Pastor

The principal address was given in a masterful manner by the Rev. Thomas LeRoy Crosby, the orator-pastor of the First Congregational Church of Manchester. Take as his topic "What's It All About?", Mr. Crosby reviewed at the outset some of the conditions of what and misery which he had found in Europe at about the time Hitler invaded Austria and other similar conditions in the world at large which caused tendencies toward wars.

He felt that in building the necessary new world of tomorrow, economic conditions, racial problems and questions involving intense national sovereignties will have to be faced fairly and solved adequately solved if we are not to repeat the experience of 25 years ago when our boys fought and died "for a lot of beautiful phrases."

Appeal For New World

He said that there were "compelling and inexorable reasons" for us to endeavor to build a new world and pointed to many of the obstacles which will have to be surmounted in so doing. He mentioned as one such obstacle the sentiment expressed in a remark made recently in his home town of Manchester when a visitor of national prominence asked publicly: "Now do you really think that we can live by the pious utopianism of the Atlantic Charter?"

Mr. Crosby called for the development of public conscience in favor of such a new world and said "that a good way to begin was by the restoration of a sense of divine vocation to human lives." "Without us God will not, without God we cannot," quoted Mr. Crosby in his eloquent plea for brining spiritual values along with material considerations in our attempt to lay the foundation of a post-war world of lasting freedom, peace and justice.

Enjoyable Music Program

The musical portion of the program proved as outstanding as the speaking. The audience joined heartily in the singing of appropriate hymns. The beautifully blended voices of the Rev. Jack Boozer and Mrs. Boozer were heard in a musical arrangement of the 23rd Psalm. Miss Mary Janvrin's rendition of "Song of Peace" was greatly enjoyed, and never was the beautiful soprano voice of Mrs. Mildred Burnett heard to better advantage than in her rendition of "The Lord's Prayer." "Bill" Elliot, Hampton's popular baritone, was in splendid voice as he sang Kipling's "Recessional," a fitting climax to one of the best addresses ever heard on any occasion in Hampton. Mrs. Annie Elliot was the competent accompanist for several of the soloists and for the singing by the audience.

Rev. Lloyd Perrigo, pastor of the Hampton Baptist Church, who led the singing during the program in his own inimitable manner, pronounced the benediction.

Judge Perkins Gracious Chairman

Councilor Perkins added much to the program by reason of the gracious and intelligent manner in which he presided and it must be noted that the audience received with great enthusiasm the messages from New Hampshire statesmen which the Judge read during the course of the program.

From Governor Blood

Governor Blood wrote in part:
"I am impressed with the fact that this dedication marks more than the enlistment of Hampton citizens in another war; for this is more than any previous war. It is a crusade to carry eastward and westward to the four corners of the earth the idea that liberty and democracy which was established on this soil by your forefathers and mine. It is a total war against the enemies of liberty everywhere, and the service flag which you dedicate today is symbol and proof of your pledge and part in the establishment of a world order marked by those privileges and rights which were instituted by our forefathers."

Bridges' Fine Tribute

From Senior Senator Styles Bridges came a stirring communication that read in part as follows:
"A few weeks ago it was my privilege to talk with a;young lady who served on Bataan and Corregidor with one of your number, Miss Rita Palmer. The heroism with which Miss Palmer nursed the wounded of that small but gallant band of Americans and Filipinos who stood so bravely against overwhelming odds was described in glowing terms. Her unforgettable service is an inspiration to me as I know it must be for all of of you.

"The men and women who have gone forth to battle from the Hamptons, like those from all New Hampshire and country, feel in their hearts the cause for which they have taken their stand. That is why with their comrades of the United Nations they will prevail in this struggle against the forces of darkness."

Tobey Shows Interest

Senator Charles W. Tobey showed his interest in the occasion by writing:
"Please convey to the gathering my sincere interest and tell them that I am one with them in paying tribute to the one who has gone on ahead and my sympathy to his loved ones. We are in a war which, in the last analysis, is truly a war for our survival. No sacrifice will be too great to insure victory. In this trying epoch, I have adopted a philosophy which I commend to each of us. It is:
"Live by the day.
Hope and pray for the best
And spend and be spent increasingly
Until Victory is achieved."

From Congressman Stearns

A portion of the message from Congressman Foster Stearns was as follows:
"These eons of old Hampton are today exercising the first and most instrumental right and duty of the good citizens -- the defense of all that we hold dear against aggression. One of the them already has given his life in that cause, and has a golden star that will shine down the years as long as the history of your towns is told to rising generations. I know that you who remain at home will accept the hardships and inequities of a war in the same high spirit of devotion that they have shown, and that united in will though parted in the flesh, you and they will go forward high-heartedly to victory."

Word Tribute From Congressman Merrow

New Hampshire's Representative in Congress, Chester E. Merrow of the First District wrote:
On an occasion like this, there arises within our hearts a new love for our country. We must be rededicated to the principles which have made the Republic great.

We face the future with undying confidence in our way of life and with an abiding faith which will bring victory both in war and in peace. We dedicate today a service flag in honor of those who are bearing the strain of battle and in honor of one who has given his life for his country. Let us dedicate ourselves to the preservation of the ideals for which our men are fighting and dying. This is the manner in which we can best honor those who are defending the United States. It is the best manner in which we can honor those who have paid the supreme sacrifice."

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