The Sound Beach Civic Association hosted its annual Memorial Day service at Veterans Memorial Park May 31.
Attendees of the event included New York State Assemblywoman Jodi Giglio (R-Riverhead), Brookhaven Councilwoman Jane Bonner (R-Rocky Point), musicians from Rocky Point High School and veterans representing each branch of the armed services.
Deacon Bob Mullane, of St. Louis de Montfort R.C. Church, delivered the invocation for the event. “We have gathered here today to remember those who have died in service to this country,” he said. “We commend them for their courage in the face of great odds. As citizens of this great nation, we remember the sacrifices, and those of their families and friends, with deep gratitude.”
Jimmy Henke, a longtime resident of Sound Beach and war hero, raised the American flag during the ceremony. While serving in Vietnam on a reconnaissance mission, his company came under intense enemy fire. After exposing himself to the gunfire, Henke carried a wounded comrade to a medical site. For his valiance in the face of tremendous danger, Henke was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
Following him, veterans from each of the armed services raised the flags representing their respective branch of services. Girl Scouts Julianna Gabrielsen and Anna Polyanksi laid the memorial wreaths.
Performances were delivered by students from the music department of Rocky Point school district under the direction of Amy Schecher. Tessa Cunningham, Alexandra Kelly and Brenna Kiernan sang both the national anthem and “God Bless America.” Daniel Curley and Shaun Sander performed “Taps.”
The event was concluded by a wind rendition of “America the Beautiful,” performed by Shane McDonald, Ryan McDonald, Jasmine Pickenburg, Matthew Liselli, Hannah Gundel, Brayden D’Ambrosio, Piper Rinn, Aneesh Deshpande, Vivian Dorr and Justin Pititto with Curley and Sander.
To learn more about the Sound Beach Civic Association, visit www.soundbeachcivic.org.
— Photos by Raymond Janis