Troy High School, Troy, NY
Class of 1963
On October 11, 2011, First Lieutenant Roger Fulkerson was memorialized in a special ceremony in Troy, NY, for his contribution and sacrifice to our country in the Vietnam War. Rensselaer County, Roger's home, honors a deceased veteran once a month, enshrines the name on a permanent memorial plaque for posterity in the county office building, flies a United States flag over the US Capitol in Washington, DC, for a day in his honor, sends it to Troy for the ceremony, and then flies this flag in front of the Rensselaer County Office building for one month, after which it will be given to Amy Fulkerson Hatfield, Roger's sister, from the Troy High Class of 1967.
In addition to Amy and her husband Steve Hatfield, several of Roger's friends from the Troy High School Class of 1963 attended, including Pete Herman, Wayne and Karen Reilly, Betsy Mitchell Savery, Carol Ritter Graham, Jack and Belva McCabe Hawks, Dennis Hunter, Marty Strosberg '64, and Moe Vitolins '65. The Class of 1967 from the United States Military Academy at West Point was represented by Kerry O'Hara, Don Albers, Paul Bigelman, and Jim and Cindy Baker.
County executives and speakers at the ceremony for Roger included: The Honorable Kathleen Jimino, Rensselaer County Executive; The Honorable Martin Reid, County Legislative Chairman; The Honorable Thomas Walsh, Chairman of the Committee for Veterans; two U.S. Congressmen, Paul Tonko (NY 21st District ) and Chris Gibson (NY 20th District) who have Rensselaer County constituents; Mr. Robert Reiter, Director of the Rensselaer County Veterans; and Mr. Gerald Wilkes, Chairman of the Honor a Deceased Veteran Committee. Representative Chris Gibson returned to Washington a short time before the ceremony and his remarks were read by his Chief of Staff. These officials presented Amy Fulkerson Hatfield with several proclamations, letters and a plaque. A Color Guard from the Honor a Deceased Veteran Committee presented and retired the colors.
Paul Bigelman, Roger's USMA classmate and friend, wrote about this ceremony: "This patriotic county is genuinely grateful for the service of her veterans to the United States, especially those who have given their lives, and had a collection of photographs of serving soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines honoring them in the entrance foyer of the County Executive Building. I was happy Roger was remembered and that the Class of '67 (USMA) attended the ceremony."
A copy of the ceremonial narrative in Roger's honor is available on the Rensselaer County website at www.rensselaercounty.org. Another tribute to Roger is found by clicking on the 'In Memory' section at the left side rail of our alumni Class of 1963 website here. Scroll down to 1968 and click on Roger's name. The Albany Times Union also wrote an article about Roger's ceremony. Please go to www.timesunion.com and do a search for "County Remembers Vietnam War Hero", published Thursday, Oct. 27, 2011.
The following are pictures from the ceremony.
Raising of the flag in Roger's memory at the Rens. Co. Legislative Offices in Troy
Flag flown over US Capitol and Rens. Co. Legislative Offices in Troy in honor of Roger
Roger's friends from Troy High School at the ceremony
Left to right: Carol Ritter Graham, Karen Reilly, Marty Strosberg, Betsy Mitchell Savery, Wayne Reilly, Pete Herman, Amy Fulkerson Hatfield, Steve Hatfield, Belva McCabe Hawks, and Jack Hawks.
Absent from picture: Dennis Hunter and Moe Vitolins
Roger's West Point Class of 1967 friends at the ceremony
Left to right: Don Albers, Kerry O'Hara, Paul Bigelman, Jim Baker
Ceremony in Roger's honor
Front row: Steve and Amy (Fulkerson) Hatfield
Back Rows: Rens. Co. officials and speakers
~ IN LOVING MEMORY ~
The Young Dead Soldiers Do Not Speak
The young dead soldiers do not speak.
Nevertheless, they are heard in the still houses:
who has not heard them?
They have a silence that speaks for them at night
and when the clock counts.
They say: We were young. We have died.
They say: We have done what we could
but until it is finished it is not done.
They say: We have given our lives but until it is finished
no one can know what our lives gave.
They say: Our deaths are not ours: they are yours,
they will mean what you make them.
They say: Whether our lives and our deaths were for
peace and a new hope or for nothing we cannot say,
it is you who must say this.
We leave you our deaths. Give them their meaning.
We were young, they say. We have died; remember us.
~ written by Archibald MacLeish