HAJH Students Pay Tribute To Town Veterans

By Steve Jusseaume

The Hampton Union, Herald Sunday, Sunday, November 10, 2002

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

HAMPTON - More than two dozen veterans were honored this week at an assembly at Hampton Academy Junior High, in anticipation of Veterans Day on Monday.

Speeches were said, songs were sung and music played at the hour- long ceremony. "I welcome you all here this morning. It is right and just that we honor our veterans here today," said HAJH Principal Kevin Moran at the top of the service.

Moran noted an orange banner hanging on the stage in the gymnasium that carried the numbers '229' and '10.'

Moran explained that 229 Hampton Academy graduates enlisted in World War II in the early 1940s, and 10 Hampton men died in the war.

The Winnacunnet High School Marine Junior ROTC Color Guard opened the ceremony, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance, led by John Taylor. Jeremiah Lonergan led the assembly in the national anthem, (while Natasha Lundren signed the words) and student Brenda Shepard read a history of Veterans Day.

"Congress, at the urging of a veterans group in 1954, changed Nov. 11 from Armistice Day to Veterans Day," Shepard said. "The original significance of the day deserves remembrance: the Armistice in 1918 spared Americans the full horror of World War I.

"The United States entered the war in 1917 but could do little sustained fighting for 16 months. General John Pershing had major plans for the American Expeditionary Force he commanded Pershing proposed an offensive against the formidable German defenses protecting the city of Metz. All the allies had to undergo a costly learning experience in the trenches. The French sustained 300,000 killed or wounded in the Battle of Frontiers in 1914. The British suffered 419,000 casualties in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 ... (eventually) the allies' pounding cracked German morale, and the Armistice followed. The United States suffered 46,000 battle deaths ... almost all those soldiers (who served in World War I) are dead now, but the lives they enjoyed after 1918 and all their descendants are American legacies of the Nov. 11 Armistice."

The sixth-grade chorus sang an Armed Forces medley, and HAJH students Erin Galvin, Emily Demchyk, Katie Callan, Emily Jefferson, and Carlton Simpson all participated in the assembly. Simpson introduced the guest speaker, Stanwood Brown.

Taps was played by Matt Varney and Eden Blume.

Before the assembly ended, veterans were introduced. They included: Gerhard Blume, Kenneth Buell, Jim Cooper, Charles Crookshank, Eddie Edwards, Irene Dooda, John Emery, Fred Engelbach, Ed Facy, Ralph Fatello, John Flaherty, Kevin Fortuna, Tom Gillick, Joan Greenwood, John Holman, Alta Kimball, John LaPierre, Dorothy Lessard, Col. Paul Lessard, Tom Liddy, Jeremiah Lonergan, Kevin Lonergan, John McGinnis, Michael MacDonald, Walter Marchenko, Robert Marsolais, Ray Maimone, Art Munson, Bob Nudd, George Paul, Andrew Price, Margaret Lovett, Fred Rice, Bob Searle, Stan Shupe, David Shaunaussey, Donald Woodyard, John Taylor, Eleanor Young, John Woodburn, Arthur Smith, Mary Frances Smith, Pearl Skelton and John Skelton.

HAJH student Allix also read "In Flander's Field" by Capt. John D. McCrae:

"In Flander's fields the poppies blow between the crosses, row on row, that mark our place;

And in the sky the larks, still bravely singing, fly scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the dead. Short days we lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, loved and were loved, and now we lie in Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe! To you from failing hands, we throw the torch. Be yours to hold it high.

If ye break faith with us who die we shall not sleep, though poppies grow in Flander's fields."