Thank You for Making Monument Unveiling a Success

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Letter to the Editor

By Ralph G. Fatello, Commander

Hampton Union, Tuesday, September 21, 2010

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

To the Editor:

Each year since 2006, American Legion Post 35 pays tribute to the fallen from our state who have given their lives in the Global War On Terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001. We add the names of the newly fallen from the prior Sept. 11.

This year we added seven new names. There are 49 names on our monument.

Our monument is a living, perpetual monument, and that was never more evident than this year, when we added the name of Cpl. Philip G. Charte, USMC, killed in Afghanistan on Sept. 8. Cpl. Charte's body was still overseas when we were requested by the family to please add his name to our memorial monument. Typically, our cut-off date is Labor Day weekend. But when we got the call from the family, we told them that we would get their loved one's name on the monument, if we had to chisel it in ourselves.

I am happy to report that we not only got his name engraved on the stone, but also in the program, as well as on the large banner displaying all the faces of the fallen.

I would like to take the time to thank the following individuals and organizations.

Post 35 Chaplain John Holman; Elaine Weatherby, who sang the National Anthem; taps was performed by Mark Weatherby; The Keepers of The Stone — George Masten, John Barvenik; and Jimmy Cushman, Arny Plastridge, Mike Michaud, Bruce Inglis, Helen and Butch Kranz, Eddie Walsh, Billy Budd, Berk Bennett, Mike Edgar, Bruce Aquizap, Roger Syphers, Paul Caron, Jimmy Djerf and the rest of the Post 35 volunteers.

Thanks to Gov. John Lynch, who gave a wonderful speech. Thank you, state Legion Department Commander Frank Anderson and National Executive Committee member Jack Neylon.

Thank you, American Legion National Commander Jimmie Foster, who gave an outstanding speech, and also Staff Sgt. Daniel Strong, USMC. Strong is a combat wounded vet who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He was so badly wounded in action during his last tour, the Marine Corps retired him from active duty.

Strong will work alongside Maj. Michael Petruzziello at Winnacunnet High School with the USMC JROTC as an instructor.

Thank you, Gunnery Sgt. Michael Macdonald, USMC, Maj. Fred Rice, USA Special Forces, Joe Kutt, USN, the Marine Corps League's Seacoast Detachments Firing Detail, and bugler Mark Weatherby. Thank you, color guards from the Hampton Fire Department, WHS USMC Jr. ROTC color guard and Scout Troop 177. The Rolling Thunder Patriot Guard. The entire membership of POST 35 and all the Legionnaires from our great state of New Hampshire. A special thanks to Joe's Meat Shoppe.

On Friday, Aug. 27, American Legion Post 35 hosted the Wounded Warriors Hit the Beach III at 18th Street at North Beach in Hampton. Our third year running of teaching wounded war veterans how to surf was another successful outing. Special thanks to Michael and Linda Taylor, Cinnamon Rainbows, Pioneers, Zapstix, Summer Sessions and all the volunteers.

This community has been wonderful in both events and we must thank the town selectmen, the town manager, the Hampton Police Department, the Hampton Fire Department, the Hampton Public Works Department and the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation.

I've said this year after year, and I know it sounds cliche. But the truth is we have done so much for our veterans here on the Seacoast, and it is all because of this truly, wonderful, caring community.

On behalf of American Legion Post 35, we thank you all again. God bless you, and God bless America.

Ralph G. Fatello

Commander, Legion Post 35


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