Memorial Street Plaques Refurbished
By M. I. MacDonald
Atlantic News, November 19, 1998
[The following article is courtesy of the Atlantic News]
HAMPTON -- After the last notes of Taps falls silent, the families, friends, and fellow townspeople of Hampton's veterans find many ways to remember the fallen. In their hearts and with their handiwork, the signs can be seen that Hampton remembers and strives to keep those memories alive for future generations. The Memorial Street Plaques project has been a combined effort including the refurbishment of existing signage by Colonel Paul Lessard and the Syphers Monument Company of Hampton. The Memorial Plaques, including the one discussed and pictured here, were reinstalled in their designated locations on the eve of Veterans' Day.
[Atlantic News Photo by M. I. MacDonald]
During the week designated for Veteran's Day, a small group of veterans and family members came together to witness the unveiling of a memorial street sign, one step in a comprehensive project aiming to incorporate memorials to local vets into the very fiber of the town. In the face of sadness tempered perhaps by the passing of so many years, there were smiles on the faces of Kelvin and Glen Dalton and Janice Dalton Taylor, the nephews and niece of Hampton son Robert K. White, as they unveiled the newly refurbished street sign which stands at the entrance to White's Lane in Hampton.
Also in attendance was historian John Holman, who read aloud a brief biography of White, along with a moving excerpt from letters sent by White to his friends and family from overseas, where he served honorably. A brief passage is included here, from a letter White wrote upon hearing that his close friend and fellow Hampton student Richard Blake had been killed in the service. Both were just 19 at the time of their deaths, when they returned to their home town and their eternal rest together.
"......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 his country and the knowledge that he was building the road to a better world." —Bob
In the end, though Robert White traveled far away and gave his life for the love of his country, it is perhaps most fitting that his contribution to building the road to a better world is memorialized on a quiet, tree-lined lane in the hometown he must have missed deeply so far from his family and separated from his friends.