By Patrick Cronin
Hampton Union, Friday, May 12, 2006
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- American Legion Post 35 Cmdr. Ralph Fatello wants the town to pay tribute to two Hampton men who were killed in the line of duty during the Vietnam War.
Fatello, along with Col. Paul Lessard and local historian John Holman, came before selectmen Monday night to see if the town can do something to honor the lives of Bruce W. Brown and Mark L. Brown (no relation).
"These two individuals have gone way too long with out being honored," Fatello said.
Bruce Brown was killed in action in 1968 while Mark Brown was killed in action in 1969.
"Bruce was awarded the Silver Star in Vietnam, and they just don't hand those out," Fatello said. "In 1968, he earned that and then some. He saved the (lives) of several of his men and ended up paying the ultimate sacrifice."
Fatello said the town has in the past named streets and parks in honor of the men and women from Hampton who died while serving their country.
He said the town has lost 19 native Hampton residents in all the wars, including one in Korea, ten in World War II and eight in Vietnam.
"Seventeen of those residents have already had parks or street roads named after them," Fatello said. "There is still nothing in remembrance of Bruce and Mark Brown."
Fatello suggested to selectmen that perhaps the new emergency rescue boat pier, the playground at Marston School, the flag pole at Winnacunnet High School athletic field, Exeter Railroad bridge and Brown Avenue itself be named in honor of the men.
"We are in war right now with active residents serving in combat," Fatello said. "God forbid if something were to happen to one of them. I wouldn't want to wait 38 years before we did something to honor them."
Selectmen took those suggestions under advisement and will make a decision at a future meeting.