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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

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Brookhaven Commemorates Veterans Day!

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On and in the days leading up to Veterans Day, local Veterans groups teamed up with officials, school districts and community members to commemorate Veterans Day. 

Three Village Central School District 

Ahead of Veterans Day, students and staff in the Three Village Central School District honored those who have served the country through several ways. Students participated in service projects, special classroom lessons and activities to pay tribute to Veterans and the sacrifices they have made for the country. 

At Ward Melville High School, students in Ms. Dalton and Mrs. Corbett’s classes organized a clothing drive to benefit the United War Veterans Council. The organization collects donations of gently used clothing and household goods, generates revenue by selling these items to re-use retailers and uses the profit toward its work for Veterans. Students helped pack up the collection truck on November 14.

Doug Elliot’s ninth-grade public speaking class at P.J. Gelinas Junior High School learned about Christopher Raguso, a member of the U.S. Air National Guard who paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq in 2018. The class discussed Raguso’s eulogy, which was read by his father. 

Mr. Elliot, who was a friend of Raguso, took his class outside to the front flagpole, where he and Mr. Ehlers, another Gelinas teacher, played military songs on the bagpipes in tribute to Raguso and all Veterans who have served the country. 

At the younger level, students participated in projects that honor local Veterans. Second graders at W.S. Mount Elementary School created placemats that were brought to the Long Island State Veterans Home in Stony Brook. Additionally, Arrowhead and Setauket Elementary Schools led a schoolwide project in which students created cards that were dropped off at the Northport VA Medical Center.

Sachem Central School District 

Across the Sachem Central School District, students and staff honored Veterans through parades, projects and activities. Students learned about the different branches of the U.S. military and how Veterans made sacrifices for the country. 

Grundy Avenue Elementary School invited local Veterans to the building for an annual parade. Students lined the bus loop to cheer and applaud the service men and women as they marched through. After the parade, 

Grundy Avenue became the scene for a heartwarming reunion between a third-grade student and her father, who had previously been deployed. Principal Tom Lipani welcomed U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Anthony Brown back to the Sachem community, surprising his daughter, Victoria Brown, in front of the crowd. 

Grundy Avenue third grader Victoria Brown was surprised by her
father, U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Anthony Brown, after the school’s
Veterans Day parade

On November 10, other elementary schools in the district, including Lynwood Avenue and Merrimac, hosted local Veterans at their buildings. The Veterans, who are family members of Sachem students, gathered for a breakfast which was followed by a parade. Students lined the hallways holding American flags and projects they made in honor of the upcoming Veterans Day. 

Members of the Interact Club at Sachem High School North honored Veterans by writing cards and letters to them. They created the annual Wall of Honor, where students hung photos of Veteran graduates while listing their names and branches of military. Additionally, students helped hang flags along the fence outside the high school to pay tribute to their sacrifice and devotion to the country. 

Connetquot Central School District 

The Connetquot Central School District (CCSD) had two Veterans Day events combined with numerous classroom celebrations. 

Ronkonkoma Middle School students and faculty honored the country’s brave and proud heroes during a three-part Veterans Day celebration, held on November 10. 

The day commenced with a breakfast for local veterans and their families, which were students and faculty who attend Connetquot schools. 

The Veterans then proceeded into the Alice R. Schaefer Auditorium as the symphonic band played “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” After soloist Sofia Lovaglio led the audience in the national anthem, Principal Joseph Licato thanked the veterans for attending the celebration. He also noted that the day was one in which “to take a moment to pause and reflect on those who served.” 

Suffolk County Legislator Nick Caracappa and New York State Assemblyman Doug Smith were also in attendance and thanked the honored guests for their service. Assemblyman Smith told the audience that veterans preserved the way of life that other people want to see go away. 

Caracappa said, “They [Veterans] allowed us to live our lives as we want to and laid down their lives for our freedoms. Thank you for everything you continue to stand for.” 

Ms. Mackin’s fourth grade students from Edith Solum Elementary School also attended the celebration to hand out handmade cards to the veterans. Blue Star Moms Peggy Dinkelman and Beth Taylor also announced that they will collaborate with the school in collecting items for soldiers currently in combat. 

As the symphonic band played the “Marches of the Armed Forces,” Veterans stood to their corresponding anthem. Students also presented their honored veteran guest to the audience. 

A performance of “We’re Coming to America” by the “Ronkettes” then followed with the RMS Show Choir Patriotic Dancers entertaining the crowd with accompaniment by Mr. Licato on guitar, Dr. Frank Saladino on drums, Jenna Micalizzi on piano and Michael Murphy on bass. The patriotic assembly commenced with the show choir’s singing a medley of patriotic tunes.