Less than a week before his death, Atlee Wampler had been trying to put up yet another lasting tribute in the county to veterans of WorldWar II.
Wampler, 76, died March 11 in North Carolina while on a golf trip. One of the founding members of Carroll County General Hospital and a longtime business owner in Westminster, Wampler also was known for his activities as a veteran of World War II.
Wampler was in his familiar seat March 5, moderating the quarterly meeting of the Carroll County Health Services Corp., of which CCGH is a subsidiary. Wampler was one of the hospital's founders 30 years ago.
He said that while the board had rejected his idea last winter to rename the hospital after World War II veterans, he had come up with a simpler idea to honor the veterans.
"The war is how, in my opinion, the hospital really got started," Wampler said that night inannouncing plans to organize a memorial around the flag pole in front of the hospital. He said he had been speaking with members of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars about sponsoring the project.
After witnessing the erecting of many memorials to soldiers who died in the war, Wampler and other veterans who had returned decided they wanted the community to build its own hospital.
"We want something for the living," Wampler said of the veterans' feelings at the time.
"We've seen enough for the dead."
Wampler was a major in the 70th tank battalion attached to the 4th Infantry Division,which took part in Operation Tiger, a training rehearsal for the D-Day landings, at Torcross, England.
A surprise attack by German boats killed 749 men during the early morning hours of April 28, 1944.
Wampler wrote the words inscribed on a memorial for the soldiers who died in Operation Tiger. The memorial was dedicated in England by U.S. Representative Beverly B. Byron, D-6th, whose late father, Capt. Harry C. Butcher, witnessed Operation Tiger as Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower's naval aide.