Memorial Day Observance at Hampton Academy
May 29, 1998
Produced & Directed by Sheila Nudd, Music Teacher
|Welcome & Opening Comments||Sheila Nudd|
|Presentation of Colors||Nick Bridle, Brooks Martin|
|Pledge of Allegiance||Kenneth Malcolm,
Rep. General Court
|Invocation||John MacInnis, Post 35 Chaplain|
|Song: "America, The Beautiful||All|
|History of Memorial Day||Tory Miller|
|Recognition of Local Heroes||Brooks Martin, slides|
|1. Richard T. Raymond||Tricia Barry|
|2. Lincoln H. Akerman||Andrea Bonsaint|
|3. Robert W. /Naves||Emily Earle|
|4. Roland M. Gray||Josie Eiras|
|5. Edward W. Tobey||Stephanie Judd|
|6. Harry A. Parr Jr.||Anthony Bronzo|
|7. Neil R. Underwood||Alison Leverone|
|8. John A. Cuss||Amanda MacNamara|
|9. Norman M. Dearborn||Kirsten Russell|
|10. Robert Gordon Lord||Ethan Manning|
|11. Richard W. Blake||Sarah Karpman|
|12. Robert K. White||Molly Lang|
|13. Robert S. Hedman||Courtney Wheeler|
|Desiree Loy||Nick Bridle|
Paul Lessard, Lt. Col. USMC, Ret.
|Intro. by Chris Caesar|
|Closing Comments||Sheila Nudd|
|Song: "I Vow To Thee My Country"||All|
|Honor Roll Reading:|
|1. Civil War||Amanda Larivee|
|2. WW II||Dustin Paurowski|
|3. Korea, Vietnam, Peace time||Matt Nevins|
|Taps and Echo||Matt Maes, Ethan Manning|
|Retiring of Colors||Nick Bridle, Brooks Martin|
This ceremony has been organized and offered by Hampton Academy Student Council
Welcome & Opening Comments
"A hero is a person admired for his or her courage and nobility of purpose. A hero is admired for his or her qualities and achievements, and is regarded as an exemplar or an ideal. Each of these persons is a hero, not in the pop culture sense, but in the truest sense of the word. All died before they were thirty years old. Some died before they reached the age of twenty. Although their lives were difference from one another, they shared a common thread: each answered to a call to serve someone or something greater than themselves.
"Almost every society since the most ancient have set aside time and established rituals to honor those who have fallen in sacrifice to nation. It is all too often the young and the strong who give their lives. Many of those whom we recognize today went to this school, studied in these same classrooms, played in this gym. We are not here to justify or to glorify any military action. Instead, we are here today to remember how fourteen young people lived, to be reminded of why they are so sorely missed, to, in Abraham Lincoln's words, 'take increased devotion to that cause to which they gave their last full measure of devotion.'
We hope that your minds will be challenged, that your heart will be touched, and that your appetite for understanding will be increased by what you see and hear this morning.
The words and music have been carefully selected in these hopes. Katherine Lee Bates, in writing America the Beautiful, gives us a history lesson. One verse tells us about the Pilgrims and their struggle to settle this country. The next stanza reminds us of the dreams of people such as Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Hamilton, and our other founding fathers. The third tells us of those who sacrificed their lives to hold the national together and to fix a horrible wrong. The last tells us that we are ia nation of one people, housed in a natural beauty that is not of our making.
We ask that all please stand for the presentation of colors, then join the honorable Kenneth Malcolm in the Pledge of Allegiance. Please remain standing as Chaplain John MacInnis offers an invocation and together we sing America, The Beautiful."
Sheila: "Hampton Academy students will now offer you character profiles of each of these young men."
1. RICHARD T. RAYMOND, offered by Tricia Barry:
"Richard Raymond was born in a small town known as Hampton. He was brought into this world on a cold December day, 79 years ago. Being a child in the 1920's was a challenge, especially on those cold days when all the children had to walk to the East End School. Richard was a young boy who lived for life. He always awaited a challenge and tried everything before saying he didn't like it. Being a very good student at Hampton Academy wasn't enough for Richard. He needed more to his life. Richard went to get a job with the University of New Hampshire, playing drums on a ship going to Europe. After being told that the ship was going on strike and would not be returning to the United States, Richard joined the Merchant Marines.
"Richard married a young German girl in Hamburg, Germany, in 1937. Maria Kohl, Richard's wife, was unable to return to the United States to set up a house and family because she was considered an enemy alien and could not come over until 1942.
"Richard was on the ship, the S.S. Dorchester, during World War II. On February 3, 1943, while heading towards Greenland, the Dorchester was hit by a torpedo and it sank. Over 600 died when the ship went down. As the ship sank, four chaplains sang hymns and passed out life jackets. However, the water was just too cold for anyone to survive.
Richard Raymond grew up at 25 Dearborn Avenue in Hampton. When you think of Richard Raymond and other war heroes, do you remember them as young men and women who lived next door? Do you wonder which of them would be doctors, or lawyers, or teachers? Or which one would be helping to make our world a better place? There is a statue at Hampton Beach of a lady holding a wreath. This statue stands as a remainder for those who lost their lives at sea. Please remember Richard Raymond as a young man from Hampton who died trying to help his country become a better place." [RAYMOND LANE is named in his honor.]
A Letter from Paula Fowler
Re: Richard T. Raymond photograph
Mr. John Holman
c/o Lane Memorial Library
Hampton, N.H. 03842
Dear Mr. Holman,
I am writing in answer to your newspaper article requesting a photograph of my uncle, Richard Raymond. Dick was the younger brother of my late mother, Edith (Raymond) Bresnahan. Although I was a small child at the time, I still remember my mother's grief when his ship, the USS Dorchester (later known as the Four Chaplains), went down during the War. Thankfully, my mother was alive and thrilled to be able to attend the ceremony that the Town of Hampton held for these men who were finally recognized as veterans who gave their lives for their country. She was so proud of Raymond Lane, and we had to take many trips to Hampton so she could gaze at the sign.
The family grew up on Dearborn Ave. in Hampton, where my grandfather, Charles H. Raymond, had a blacksmith shop in the back yard until he died in 1958. Dick has a brother, William R. Raymond, living in Florida, and a sister, Pauline (Raymond) Mercier living in South Carolina, who are also thankful that he is now being honored.
Thank you for taking the time to search for a photograph of Dick.
Very truly yours,
Paula Fowler 11 Rawson Hill Rd. Newburyport, Ma. 01950
"Lincoln Herbert Akerman was born on March 25, 1916. His parents were Mrs. May Akerman and the late Charles Akerman. Lincoln had two brothers, Oliver and Charles. He also had three sisters, Charlotte, Priscilla, and Josephine. Lincoln grew up in Hampton Falls, and went through Hampton schools. Lincoln was a typical student who disliked school very much.
"Lincoln Akerman was the first young man from Hampton to be drafted and the first to be sent overseas from Hampton. Lincoln was drafted in August of 1941. He was 25 years old. He was stationed at Camp Edwards [Mass.]. Then for 9 months he was stationed at New Caledonia before he was shipped out. Lincoln Akerman was married to Patricia Butler and had a son name Brian, who was born in September of 1942. He was the first Hampton soldier reported to lose his life in conflict. Lincoln died in the Philippines.
"He has recognition in the Philippines. He is not buried there. Lincoln volunteered to go into big bomb holders and to defuse the bombs without getting hurt. In order to do this safely, he had to use a specific door. Unfortunately, Lincoln went into the wrong door and got blown up.
"Lincoln Akerman was not just another soldier. He was a hero. We should be grateful for what he did for us and our country. In memory of Lincoln Akerman, Hampton Falls, named the elementary school after him."
3. ROBERT W. NAVES, offered by Emily Earle:
"Robert Naves was a commercial artist in civilian life. He had a shed at the rear of his house on Mill Road. When he went out to work on projects, he often brought out a heater. While working in the shed one afternoon, he accidentally tipped over the heater, and shed became engulfed in flames. The only way Robert could get out of the shed was to walk through the flames. Robert was severely burned and spent many months in the hospital. He healed so well that in March of 1942, he enlisted in the service. He received his basic training at Miami Beach, Florida, and Lowrie Field, Colorado. In September of 1942 he was sent over seas and was first located in India. On May 27, 1944, Naves was in a severe jeep accident. His wife received word of his injuries on July 4, 1944. He later died because of those injuries.
"Staff Sergeant Robert Naves was a native of Exeter and the son of Mrs. Frank Cilley. In civilian life, he was a commercial artist, and studied under Scott Carbee in Boston, Mass. For nearly a year before enlisting, he served a Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop No. 177 of Hampton. While serving with the 14th Air Force, he was one of the designers of the new emblem. He later married Janice Newton of Concord [an art teacher in the Hampton schools].
"When Robert Naves would walk through town, he would pick up girls quite literally. He would surprise them by throwing them over his shoulder like a sack and carrying them to their cars or bikes. He had a tremendous sense of fun. He also worked hard and played hard. His friends all called him a mountain of a man. People also called him a strapping young man.
"He was a member of Merrill's Marauders. Merrill's Marauders were also known as Merrill's Raiders. They were about 3000 United States Infantrymen, who fought under Brigadier General Frank Merrill during World War II. The Marauders were tough jungle fighters who won fame in the China/Burma/India theater. They went to India in October of 1943 after [President] Franklin Roosevelt called for volunteers to take part in a dangerous and hazardous mission.
"In March of 1944, after a 100 miles march, Merrill's Marauders surprised the enemy by blocking the only Japanese supply line in the Valley.
"Not many people remember Sergeant Naves, but those who do think well of him. We hope that he rests in peace in Arlington National Cemetery." [NAVES ROAD is named in his honor.]
4. ROLAND M. GRAY, offered by Josie Eiras:
"Roland Gray was born in Woolrich, Maine, on June 22, 1923. In 1940, he moved to Hampton and attended Hampton Academy. Roland like hunting, football, baseball, fishing, and performing in the school plays. He graduated from Hampton Academy; in 1941, and attended Wentworth Institute in Boston. He was the first of his class to go to war. He received his training in Camp Hale, Colorado in a ski troop. Later he was transferred to the Army Air Corps. In 1944, he went overseas serving in England, France, Germany, and Belgium as a member of the 84th Division, 33rd Infantry. He was killed in action in Belgium on December 24, 1944. He was survived by his parents, and his sister." [GRAY AVENUE is named in his honor.]
[Note: The following letter, dated March 13, 1957, was received by William Holman, a member of the American Legion Post 35 of the Hampton's, regarding the naming of streets, parks and bridges in memory of Hampton veterans killed in action during WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. This letter was from Mr. And Mrs. Sidney Gray of Southport, Maine, concerning their son, Roland W. Gray of Hampton, killed December 24, 1944, and GRAY AVENUE was named for him. (Letter from the Legion Post 35 files.)]
March 13, 1957
William D. Holman
Hampton's Post No. 35
Dear Mr. Holman;
We both think it's a fine idea for the town of Hampton to name its new streets for service men that lost their lives in World War II. However, it was a surprise to us, as we had never heard about it before. We feel very pleased to know that Roland's name will be one of them.
Roland was born ion Woolwich, Maine, June 22,1923.
While living in Southport, he attended the grammar school and high school for three years at Boothbay Harbor, Maine. We moved to Hampton in 1940. Roland attended Hampton Academy in his senior year and graduated in the class of 1941. After graduation, he entered Wentworth Institute Boston where he majored in Architectural Designing Construction and by voluntary induction, joined the Ski Troops at Camp Hale, Colorado. After a year, he asked for a transfer to the Army Air Corps and accordingly, was sent to Columbia University in Missouri where he studied and trained for six months.
This training resulted in reassignment to the Infantry in April 1944, when the personnel of this branch were reduced.
The next orders took him to Camp Van Dorn, Miss., where he trained in radio and communications until transferred to Camp Claiborne, La.
Intensive training and maneuvers made him think he would be shipped overseas at a very early date so he volunteered again for overseas duty, hoping to be in Europe. He was shipped out Sept. 1944. He served in England, France, Belgium, Holland and Germany.
In this country, he earned Medals for Expert Marksmanship with rifle, carbine and pistol and was given the Combat Infantryman badge in Germany.
On the morning he was killed, Dec. 24, 1945, he was manning a machine gun quite alone. We received the Purple Heart posthumously and Memorial services were held at the Methodist Church in Hampton, Feb. 18, 1945. He was buried in the American Cemetery in Belgium and in 1948, was brought back to Southport, Maine.
Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Gray
5. EDWARD W. TOBEY, offered by Stephanie Judd:
Edward William Tobey was born on February 13, 1920 in Dover, New Hampshire. He was raised up in a house on the corner of Academy Ave. and High Street right across from the school. He was an excellent athlete. He played many sports such as baseball, basketball and hockey. He also played piccolo in the school band. He was involved on many school activities including the glee club, the senior play, and he was a sports writer for the school newspaper. He graduated from Hampton Academy in 1938. Then he went to the University of New Hampshire.
Edward then registered for the United States Army Band. He was chosen for the 1940 Army draft. He trained in NOrth Carolina. Edward was then commissioned in Mexico as a Lieutenant. He learned how to fly and become a tail-gunner on a B-29 with a thirteen man crew. Edward flew on one of the first B-29's with secret radar on it. His crew was sent to the tiny island of Tinian, in the South Pacific. Their mission was to carry bombs that were going to bomb Japan. On their 7th mission, the plane's engine failed. The plane crashed and exploded. Every crew member except one, died. Edward Tobey was killed. The same Edward Tobey who once walked the halls of Hampton Academy. He was killed in action on May 20th, 1945. Although he lies buried in the South Pacific, there is a stone here to honor his memory.
If you are able to save a place for him inside you, when you are going to places he can no longer go, take what Edward Tobey and others like him have taught you with their dying .... and keep it with you always. And someday, in a time when people decide and feel safe to call war insane .... take one moment and think of those heroes that were left behind. A moment on Memorial Day -- their day. Remember Edward for his bravery, courage, and the heroic things he did for our country. [TOBEY STREET is also named in his honor.]
6. HARRY A. PARR, JR., offered by Anthony Bronzo:
Today I am here to let you know about Harry Alfred Parr through the eyes of my grandmother, Lorraine (Parr) Beush, his sister. Harry Parr was born March 25, 1917 and moved to Hampton in 1929, when he was twelve years old. He graduated from Hampton Academy receiving the Honor Medal for outstanding scholastic achievement. He joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, which was a group of young people located in Littleton, New Hampshire to clear parks and trails. They lived in barracks and earned a very small salary. While working for C.C.C., one of the supervisors recognized his intelligence and his exceptional leadership qualities and convinced him to go to U.N.H.
Harry spent five years at U.N.H. becoming a civil engineer. At first he had wanted to be a forester, but changed his mind. At U.N.H. he made the football team, Wildcats. His first year playing, he injured his knee and had to have it operated on forcing him to give up football. He then joined the Pep Squad.
Upon graduating from U.N.H. in 1941, he went to work for the Army Corps of Engineers working in Franklin, New Hampshire. After enlisting in the A.C.of E. he did officers training at Fort Belivar, Virginia. In June of 1942, he married Evelyn Brown from Camden, Maine who at the time was a school teacher in Kensington, New Hampshire. On January 9, 1944, his company battalion was shipped to active duty in Europe. On January 11, 1944, just two days after he left the country, Randall Alfred Parr was born. Lieutenant Parr did not live to see his only son.
He was killed on November 27th, 1944 when the jeep he was travelling in, hit a land mine and exploded. This was during the Battle of the Bulge. He was buried in Margraaten, Holland. In 1948, his remains were brought back to the High Street Cemetery and buried. [PARR STREET was named in his honor.]
7. NEIL R. Underwood, offered by Alison Leverone:
Neil Underwood was not a typical young man for that time. He was raised by his aunt, Kate Harrington, at Hampton Beach. He loved hunting, fishing, and driving around town in his convertible looking at girls. He was known around Hampton as a fun-loving young man. He was not a particularly good student at Hampton Academy and he transferred to Whitcomb High School in Bethel, Vermont.
Neil joined the Army Air Corps and became part of a flight crew that trained in Kansas, Kentucky, and California. Even though he was killed in friendly fire he was still a hero.
Lt. Neil R. Underwood, 1918-1944, of Hampton, N.H. was a pilot in the United States Army Air Corps. He was shot down in a flight over Corsica, France on August 17, 1944. His death was caused by a communication error by the ground crew. When the plane was found, his body was missing and never recovered. Investigators thought that he survived the crash and was captured by the enemy and later killed.
Neil Underwood died when his daughter Deborah Lynn was two days old. His medal was presented to her in the home of the Lieutenant's widow, Mrs. Phyllis Underwood.
After the war, five bridges were dedicated to our war dead. The bridges were dedicated Wednesday, in an Armistice Day Ceremony, conducted by the Hampton Post #35 American Legion. Lt. Neil R. Underwood, Jr's Bridge is a memorial bridge over Hampton River. Lt. Underwood served as a lifeguard on Hampton Beach and was a dedicated American.
8. JOHN A. CUSS, offered by Amanda MacNamara:
John A. Cuss was born January 26, 1922. He lived on a farm in Alton, New Hampshire. In high school, he was active in sports and 4-H. In 1937, he was the 4-H champion for poultry. He was the class marshall. In 1938, there was a big hurricane and his family did not know where he was. It turned out he was directing traffic. He was also a daring person. Once his friends dared him to swim across Alton Bay which is about five miles. And he did it. John Cuss graduated high school in 1940, then his family moved to Hampton.
When he moved to Hampton, he joined the United States Air Force. John was stationed at Clark Field in the Philippines and was a member of the ground crew. He was captured and taken to the Bataan Death March, where he died May 8, 1942. But his family did not know until 1944. Of the 70,000 men who were able to begin the death march, 7000 died. John Cuss received the Purple Heart for military merit and for wounds received in action. John Cuss also received many other awards including a citation of honor, a recognition by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and an American Legion Gold Star, which states, "This death occurred in order that others might live." [CUSS LANE is named in his honor.]
9. NORMAN M. DEARBORN, offered by Kirsten Russell:
Norman Dearborn was born in the year 1917. H:is parents, Mr. and Mrs. G. Milton Dearborn raised him in a small house on Exeter Road. When he went to Hampton Academy for his primary education, including his graduation of high school, he was a good student, making Honor Rolls. His favorite subjects were math and science, in which he did well in both. He was a well-rounded child playing trumpet in the school band, and baseball as a sport.
After he graduated, Norman went to Bentley College, Accounting and Finance. After he got his degree there, he got a job at New England Telephone and Telegraph. While he was going to school at Hampton Academy, he met a lady named Betty Chase. Five years after they graduated, they got married. They lived together in Boston, near Fenway Park. Once in a while they would be in their apartment and would hear the crowd cheering. Norman would always wonder out loud what had happened.
In the year 1943, Norman enlisted in the United States Air Force. He had to go to aviation training for two years. In January of 1945, Norman was commissioned 2nd. Lieutenant and navigators wings for the United States Air Force. He was stationed in Luzon, which was in the Philippines. In November of 1945, while waiting to come home in the South Pacific, there was a plane accident. Norman, a few weeks earlier, had written to Mrs. Betty Dearborn telling her that he and the others shad been having trouble with the plane and had to stop and have it repaired. They tested it and it seemed fine. So they started their journey home. When they were overseas, the plane went down an all aboard were killed.
Norman's body was laid to rest in the High Street Cemetery at his family's plot. Norman Dearborn was the tenth Hampton man to die during World War II. He died after serving his country and should be remembered for his bravery. Mr. Dearborn received a Gold Star by The American Legion for his service in the war. [DEARBORN AVENUE is named in his honor.]
When we first went to speak with the sisters of Bob Lord, we never expected to be so moved. It was very obvious to us how much they loved him and still missed him. Bob got along well with his family, and he loved them. Every day when he would come home from school he would greet his mother by picking her up and swinging her around.
Bob did well in school, and was involved in the football and baseball teams. Bob was also an outdoors' man. He loved to hunt and to fish.
Bob had always wanted to fly, and so he joined the air force one month before he would have graduated from high school. While Bob was in the air force he made an effort to return home for a visit whenever possible. On the night before his final government mission, he came home to take his little sister out to dinner to celebrate her birthday, and afterwards he spent time with his fiancee. He left the next day, only a few days before he would have turned 21.
Bob Lord had the honor of being a part of the crew of the first radar guided plane. They had taken off in California and were headed towards Oregon when the plane crashed into a mountain and was destroyed, killing him and his crew mates. The government thought it was the result of sabotage. The day before Robert had left, he had arranged to have a dozen roses sent to his mother for Mother's Day. Bob's mother received the roses on Mother's Day, and later on that same day, she received word that Bob was presumed dead.
Bob is one of the many soldiers who gave their lives for their country, and he, like all of them deserves to be remembered.
11. RICHARD W. BLAKE, offered by Sarah Karpman:
Richard Warren Blake, was born on September 3, 1924 and was killed in action on February 20, 1945.
Richard Blake was not just another face in the crowd. At six-foot-three, not many people are. Richard was an outstanding athlete who loved to ski and play basketball. He was also a member of the All-State basketball team. He had everything he needed including a four year scholarship to the University of Connecticut. But, in 1943, after Richard had graduated with his class at Hampton Academy, he joined the Air Force. Shortly after deciding to become a pilot, Richard was given the chance to volunteer for the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division, also known as the ski troops. Mr. Blake joined and was sent for training at Camp Hale in Colorado. There, along with fifteen thousand other men, he trained to climb, ski, and survive. He trained during the day and at night in temperatures reaching fifty below zero. In december of 1945, after about a year of training, Richard was sent to Naples, Italy by boat. Then, on foot, Richard Blake marched in Northern Italy to Mt. Belvedere along the stronghold of the Germans.
After two months of hard fighting, as he led an attack on Mt. Belvedere, Richard Blake was shot down and killed by German gunfire. His body was shipped back to Hampton is buried here [in the High Street Cemetery]. Shortly after, the combined forces of the Americans and the British captured Mt. Belvedere and the German line was broken. About a thousand men on the Allied side were killed in the attack. On May 2, 1945, the hostilities in Italy ended. Richard Blake was awarded a Purple Heart and the Infantry Badge for honorable and outstanding service. Many people cared for Richard. Many expressed their feelings in words. "Bill" Elliot wrote a poem when he heard a young boy talking about Richard Blake. The boy said, "Gee! he was a great guy!" The poem went as follows:
"Gee, he was sure a great guy."
I heard him say as he passed me by.
"I'm sorry he had to go. One of the best,
That G.I. Joe.
Yeh! sure, he was a friend of mine,
A friend of us all along the line.
We hated to see our hero die,
'Cause he was sure a mighty swell guy.
Everyone feels the same way, too,
That there was a guy who would stick by you
He'd be at your side to take your part,
To mend if he could your broken heart.
When I pass over that great divide
To realms unknown on the other side,
I hope they'll say of me as I die,
Gee! but he was sure a great guy."
The youngster passed along that day.
I swallowed and brushed a tear away.
His heart, like mine, would not cease to ache
For Private First Class, Richard Blake.
We all owe, not to just Mr. Blake, but to all the men who have ever died in service to our country, a great debt. [BLAKE LANE is named in his honor.]
12. ROBERT K. WHITE, offered by Molly Lang:
Robert White was in the Class of '43 at Hampton Academy. He was a good student and participated in events such as basketball and football. He also enjoyed music. He played the piano and later the accordion. His sister [Alice White Dalton], was also musically talented. She played in Hampton's first school orchestra [at the Centre School].
He entered the service on March 16, 1944. In October of the same year he was sent overseas to Wolfgaaten, Germany, as a member of the 310th Infantry.
Robert's best friend, Richard Blake, was killed when they were both fighting overseas. When Robert heard the news of his friend's death, he wrote this letter to the Blake Family:
"I wish there was some way I could let you know of my real feelings on this beautiful Easter morning. Words on paper can never express what thoughts I have.
"I heard only the other day about Richard. I know it's useless for me to tell you not to feel badly. It's not human nature to do so. I do, it was hard for me to read the lines in which my mother told me.
"This morning as I was reading my Bible, I came across the lines, "For many are called, but few are chosen." I deeply believe that Richard was one of the chosen few. What greater thing could a man give his life for? Love of God, love of his country and the knowledge that he was building the road to a better world.
"As I write this, I'm wondering what kind of an Easter you folks at home will have. Today is quiet. More quiet than it has been in a long time. I guess that even the Germans have enough religion left in them to observe this greatest of all the days of the year.
"We will have services at the front today. Even amid the hell of war, God is with us.
"Let me close with this thought in mind that Richard has not passed away but has only gone on ahead of us to a better place in Heaven just as he helped better this earth. I believe this with all my heart and know that we'll meet again someday.
"Keep up your courage and don't love your faith in God.
Private First Class Robert White was killed on July 1, 1945 in a train accident at the age of 19. He was travelling from a furlough to Riviera to Paris. After his death, the bodies of Robert White and Richard Blake, who was Robert's best friend and who had died earlier, were brought back to Hampton. The town held a double ceremony in their honor. [WHITE'S LANE is named in his honor.]
13. ROBERT S. HEDMAN, offered by Courtney Wheeler:
Robert Samuel Hedman was born and raised in Connecticut. He moved to Hampton in 1947, and worked for the Hampton Water Works. When he was in high school, he worked in a movie theater in Connecticut. He was very compassionate and kindhearted. If he saw a child who did not have enough money to go to a movie, he would make up the difference and let the child in.
His sister described him as outgoing, and fun-loving. Robert always had a good word for everyone. He looked for jokes to tell and made light of most situations. He loved music and played the ;guitar and harmonica. Robert Hedman was a good son who loved his mother and his country.
When action began in Korea, Mr. Hedman tried to enlist in the Army through the Portsmouth office. He was refused because his lungs were scarred. They thought he may have had tuberculosis as a child. He went to Concord, NH and passed the physical there. He joined the Army and soon made rank of Corporal.
Robert was sent to Korea and served as a radio operator. He wrote to his mother every chance he had. He wanted her to know that he was doing fine and she need not worry. In 1953 Corporal Hedman was wounded twice in his legs and received two purple hearts. He was hospitalized for a while in an Army hospital in Korea. His legs required extensive surgery to heal properly and he was to be sent back to the states. His orders were lost and he was sent back to the front lines because the Army needed radio operators. Soon after returning to combat, Corporal Robert Hedman was reported missing in action in 1954. He was not yet thirty years old. His body has never been recovered. Last year  Robert's mother died, at the age of 92. Perhaps now she has finally found her son. [HEDMAN AVENUE is named in his honor.]
Desiree Loy was a former student and a friend, a good friend. When I began teaching in Hampton, Desiree was a sixth grader who loved dogs, horses, music and learning. As a seventh grader, Desiree was a soloist in the first performance of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Desiree starred in the 8th Grade musical, Winnie the Pooh. She also won the American Legion Memorial Day essay contest that year. At Winnacunnet [High School], Desiree Loy was involved in cheerleading, yearbook, student council, madrigal singers, and was voted most talkative and most talented.
(WHS Class of '77)
In 1975, Desiree toured Europe with America's Youth In Concert sponsored by Princeton University. In 1979, she sang with the Rhode Island College chamber singers at Carnegie Hall in New York. In 1981 and 82, my young friend Desiree won Air Guard Scholarships that financed her paralegal studies at UNH. 1983 found Desiree caring for patients at the NH State Hospital. That was also the year that she completed here training as Boom Operator and received her wings. In her spare time she could be found working as a volunteer at Prescott Park, or for Pro-Portsmouth, or at Market Square Day. She also volunteered at the Stratham SPCA. While Desiree was at UNH, she campaigned very hard for safe parking facilities for the Kari-Van drivers, whose days began at 5:30 AM. She was successful in that effort. Desiree provided the world with a special warmth and glow.
Desiree was a loving and thoughtful daughter who would leave notes and poems for her mother when she came home from her shift as Emergency Room nurse at midnight. My friend Desiree lived and loved well. My last recollection of Desiree is in early August 1985, just two weeks before her death. She was preparing to head out to California for training. Nothing excited her more than flying, not even the passion for music that we had long shared. We had lunch in a small Boston restaurant to celebrate the friendship that we had maintained for 15 years. Little did I realize that that would be our last conversation. Desiree Loy was killed in the crash of a KC-135 Aircraft at Beale Air Force Base in California on August 27, 1985. Her remains rest here in Hampton at the High Street Cemetery.
John Gillespie Magee, pilot and officer penned these words about his love of flying. They were quoted at Desiree's memorial service. The last part of the poem reads:
I've topped the wind-swept heights with eager grace
Where never lark, or even eagle, flew;
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God."
Young ladies and gentlemen, as we prepare to leave this gathering, let us stop for a moment to consider our blessings and the price paid for them. Let us consider the changes brought upon the world in the past two hundred years, and the dynamic changes in the second half of this century. It is through the generosity of those who served our nation that we enjoy great freedom and liberty. Although some of you do not think so now, we have been given a most precious gift of free public education that is the envy of many developing and evolving democracies. It was the statesman, Thomas Decatur who said, "My country, right or wrong." The rest of that quote is, "When it is right, keep it so. When wrong, make it right." We are not a perfect union, and we can never be. Perfection is for the gods. It is ours to struggle, and as history tells us, sometimes die to make things right.
May we find something about ourselves in each of the stories that we head this morning, something of which we were not previously aware. What these men and women endured for us so that we are free today is their last legacy. For they freely gave that we mighty freely live. If there is one lesson that I would choose for you to take with you from this morning's gathering, it would be that we all dedicate ourselves to living in such a way that, fifty or more years after our deaths, people might gather to honor the memory of how we lived.
I asks that you now please stand for our closing ceremony. We will sing together, "I Vow To Thee My Country." Please remain standing for a benediction offered by Chaplain MacInnes, a reading of Hampton's Honor Roll, Taps, and the Retiring of the Colors.