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‘Cross committee’ prepares for Memorial Day

Passers-by may notice the work on Main Street in downtown Hampton — men and women busily planting small crosses into the ground along the roadside.

Volunteers with the Hampton Veterans Memorial Committee, also known as the “cross committee,” will be out Friday erecting 199 memorial crosses and American flags in remembrance of military veterans who have passed on.

The four-foot-tall, by two-foot-wide, crosses are labeled with the names of deceased veterans and the wars, or eras of conflict, in which they served. They represent Hampton residents, or loved ones of Hampton residents, who are military veterans.

“We’re adding 11 new crosses this year,” said Hampton City Councilman Charlie Hearn.

“We wanted to recognize our deceased veterans for the service they gave,” continued Hearn. “We want for everybody to remember the sacrifices a lot of people made for this country.”

This year, the group plans to erect 13 crosses in honor of those who were “killed in action.” Those crosses will be planted in the berm in front of the Hampton City Hall.

Hearn added that one who served in Desert Storm and three who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom are among the crosses for those killed in action.

This is the cross committee’s third year for the twice-yearly tribute. The memorial crosses are displayed for two weeks around the Veterans Day and the Memorial Day holidays.

Hearn said those interested in volunteering to help place the crosses are asked to join members at Hampton City Hall. Members of the committee have planned an all-day affair constructing the display, beginning Friday at 9 a.m.

The city councilman said the tribute is voluntary, and “funding is strictly off of donations.” Donations to help pay for the tribute can be made at City Hall, located at 17 East Main St., in Hampton.

Applications for the recognition also are available at City Hall for those wanting to have their loved one’s memory and service honored. For more information, call City Hall at (770) 946-4306.