Photo by Elaine Rackley
Hampton Memorial Markers Committee and eight volunteers along with some city workers placed 185 military markers in downtown Hampton. The military markers have been on display for the last three years, for memorial Day and Veteran’s Day.
Members of the Hampton Memorial Markers Committee, along with other volunteers, have surrounded downtown Hampton with military markers.
Small American flags drape across all of the 185 white, wooden markers, depicting deceased military veterans from World War I, up through the war in Iraq.
“We have one marker for the unknown soldier, it is for all of the soldiers who were killed, who we might not have known their names,” said Nita Rucker. “All of the deceased soldiers either were Hampton residents, or the person requesting the flag marker, had to be a Hampton resident.”
There are 13 military markers lining the Hampton Streets that are marked “KIA”, which is an acronym for Killed In Action. “The KIA markers are on the hill of the Hampton City Hall,” said Rucker.
The Hampton Memorial Markers Committee is made up of Rucker, husband Larry, Hampton City Councilman Charlie Hearn, and his wife Cindy, Hampton City Councilman Henry Byrd, and his wife Wanda, along with Bill and Linda Dodgen.
Rucker credits Councilman Hearn with the military marker concept. She said Hearn got the idea from a display he observed in Dahlonega, Ga.
“We saw in Dahlonega basically the same thing we are doing in Hampton,” said Hearn. “We brought it before the city council three years ago, and the city council thought it was a good idea. We just want to honor our veterans in the Hampton area, and it also keeps our young people aware of the sacrifices people have made for our country. We don’t want people to forget the price that was paid.”
The committee works with a group of volunteers, and some city employees, to place the military markers out twice a year, said Hearn. They have been placing the military markers on the city’s streets for three years, in observance of Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day, according to Rucker.
“We place them out one week before Memorial Day, and they remain week after Memorial Day,” said Rucker. “We do it again one week before Veterans Day and they remain week after Veterans Day.”