Islip community members from Ronkonkoma to West Islip teamed up with local VFWs, American Legions and AMVETS to commemorate the sacrifices made by American service members.
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.
After the assembly, the sixth-grade class was welcomed to speak with the Veterans and to ask them questions about their service in the military.
At Connetquot High School, a ribbon-cutting was held for the new Flags of Honor initiative. Prior to the celebration, the community was invited to purchase an American Flag in honor of a Veteran and to raise funds for local veterans’ charities. The flags were placed on campus grounds in front of the high school to remind the community of all who served and sacrificed.
During the ribbon-cutting celebration, local Veterans were invited to attend and were accompanied by students enrolled in government classes, faculty and administration. The ceremony was punctuated with patriotic music by the high school wind ensemble. Rho Kappa Honor Society public relations officer Daniella Cregg thanked the Veterans for their service.
“These Veterans put their lives on the line to protect the rights and freedoms not just here, but for people all around the world,” Daniella said. “We honor those veterans and thank them for the sacrifice they made to defend this country.”
Connetquot High School Assistant Principal Lauren Neckin, who was the architect of the Flags of Honor initiative and ribbon-cutting ceremony, introduced the veterans in attendance and thanked them for their service. “The Veterans we honor today come from all walks of life, but they shared several fundamental qualities. They possessed courage, pride, determination, selflessness, dedication to duty and integrity – all the qualities needed to serve a cause larger than oneself,” Ms. Neckin stated. “They were ordinary people who responded in extraordinary ways in extreme times. They rose to the nation’s call because they wanted to protect a nation which has given them and us so much.”
The guests then joined the administration and faculty in cutting the bright red ribbon, symbolizing the Veterans sacrifices to this nation and the community’s support through years to come.
On November 5, the Village of Islandia held its annual Veterans Day ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Triangle. Mayor Allan M. Dorman, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War, was joined by village board members, local war veterans and members of the Lakeland and Hauppauge Fire Departments to honor those who served and continue to serve in the armed forces.
During the ceremony, Mayor Dorman asked those in attendance to remember those local residents who served in the military and have since passed on. He also recognized all the local Veterans; groups that were in attendance. An invocation was delivered by Tom Brauner, Chaplain, Col. Francis S. Midura Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #12144.