Post 35 to Add Seven New Names to Terrorism Monument

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On Sept. 11 Seven Soldiers Will be Honored for Fighting Terrorism

By Patrick Cronin

Hampton Union, Tuesday, September 7, 2010

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
Joanne Meyer, left, touches the name of her step-son, 2nd Lt. Mathew S. Coutu, as his father, Mike Coutu, watches after the dedication ceremony of the Global War On Terrorism Monument at the American Legion Post 35 in Hampton on Thursday, Sept. 11, 2008.
[Scott Yates file photo.]

HAMPTON -- Seven more names will be added to the Global War on Terrorism Monument in Hampton on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Towers in New York and the Pentagon.

The somber dedication, honoring service members whose lives were lost in combat during the past year, will take place in front of the monument outside the American Legion Post 35 Hall, at 69 High Street, at 6 p.m. on Saturday. September 11th.

The monument lists the names of all veterans from New Hampshire who have lost their lives in the Global War on Terrorism since Sept. 11, 2001.

Added to the monument this year are Stephen L. Murphy of Jaffrey, Marc Paul Decoteau of Waterville Valley, Eric D. Currier of Londonderry, Kyle R. Warren of Manchester, Jared N. Van Aslst of Laconia, and Andrew C. Nicol of Kensington.

This year's guest speakers at the ceremony include Jimmie Foster, national commander of The American Legion, and Gov. John Lynch.

Also speaking is combat veteran Staff Sgt. Daniel Strong, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. During his last deployment, he was wounded so badly he was medically retired from the Marine Corps.

Strong's decorations include: two Purple Hearts, a Navy Commendation Medal with a combat valor device, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal with a combat valor device, and two Combat Action ribbons.

The national anthem will be performed by local singer Elaine Weatherby. Taps will be performed by Mark Weatherby.

Families of the latest casualties from New Hampshire will be in attendance, as well as other state dignitaries.

Ralph Fatello, commander of the American Legion Post 35, said the monument in Hampton is important to the families of the fallen soldiers because those names are engraved there for future generations to learn the story of what is happening right now.

It was unveiled by Post 35 on Sept. 11, 2006.

"We wanted to honor these men and women now," he said, "not 10, 20 or 50 years from now. We wanted to honor the fallen today."

The idea for the memorial came after Post 35 learned of two men from Hampton — Bruce Brown and Mark Brown, no relation — who died in Vietnam but were never honored. While the post was able to finally honor the two, Fatello said its members didn't want something like that to happen again. Post Finance Officer Joe Kutt said many of the legionnaires are Vietnam veterans who know what it's like to feel forgotten.

"We didn't want it to happen to (those who died in subsequent wars)," he said.

Fatello said post members made a promise to the families of armed services members who have their names on the monument that their loved ones would not be forgotten.

"And we made a commitment that we will come back here every Sept. 11 and add new names to the monument, if need be," he said. "This is a living monument that will be here long after we are gone."

The monument — which was initially paid for through donations — features the likeness of the Purple Heart, which is awarded when a soldier is wounded or killed in combat, and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, for soldiers deployed to places like Afghanistan and Iraq after Sept. 11, 2001.

{Post script, not in original article; courtesy Legion Post 35:
NH Service Members lost from 9/11/09 through 9/11/10:
1. Stephen L. Murphy, SSG USMC, Jaffrey, NH
2. Marc Paul Decoteau , SPC USA, Waterville Valley, NH
3. Eric D. Currier, PFC USMC, Londonderry, NH
4. Kyle R. Warren, SSGT USA, Manchester, NH
5. Jared N. Van Aalst, MSGT, USA, Laconia, NH
6. Andrew C. Nicol, SGT USA, Kensington, NH
7. Philip G. E. Charte,CPL USMC, Kensington, NH}

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