Both the East Setauket and Stony Brook Village Memorial Day parades May 27 featured something special this year.
At the end of the Stony Brook parade at Veterans Memorial Park and before the start of the East Setauket parade at Village Green, at the traditional memorial ceremonies, updated monuments were revealed with plaques to recognize the sacrifices made by the latest generations of American service members who served in the Cold War, Gulf wars and War on Terror. The Stony Brook plaque was funded by the Ward Melville Heritage Organization and Stony Brook University.
In 2018, Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) along with American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars posts located in Setauket, Stony Brook and Port Jefferson Station and the Long Island State Veterans Home at Stony Brook University announced a two-phased effort to expand both memorials as well as the monuments at the East Setauket Veterans Memorial Park and along the Port Jefferson Harbor.
The Stony Brook and Setauket Village Green memorial stones were part of Phase I of the project. While the Village Green monument was ready in time for the ceremonies, a replica was installed at the Stony Brook site, according to Hahn, who said the completed plaque will arrive soon.
Phase II of the project will include renovating the East Setauket Veterans Memorial Park and the Port Jefferson Harbor sites. This phase is expected to be completed in time for Veterans Day, according to Hahn.
To prepare for the Memorial Day ceremony in Stony Brook, StoneGate Landscape Construction, owned by Chris Graf, cut back trees, cleaned out the underbrush, sprayed poison ivy, brought in two additional rocks to the site and planted trees. The services were provided by the company free of charge.
The Stony Brook parade and ceremony was sponsored by VFW East Setauket Post 3054 and American Legion Irving Hart Post 1766. The East Setauket parade was also organized by VFW Post 3054.