Tags Posts tagged with "Memorial Day"

Memorial Day

Photo from Hometown Hope

On Tuesday, May 25, local nonprofit Hometown Hope gathered with members of the Port Jef-ferson Fire Department, as well as representatives from village and local government to honor three fallen heroes in honor of Memorial Day.

American flags were installed in front of Village Hall in memory of local residents David George Timothy Still, U.S. Navy; Honorary Chief Frederick J. Gumbus, U.S. Army Air; James Von Oiste, U.S. Marine and Belle Terre resident; and Victor Gronenthal, U.S. Army and the husband of a current resident.

Hometown Hope plans to add more flags each year to honor those local heroes who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedom.


Members from the Sound Beach Fire Department held their annual Memorial Day service. Photo by Julianne Mosher

Gone, but never forgotten.

In light of Memorial Day Monday, May 31, the Sound Beach Fire Department held their annual service to remember and mourn the losses of all the men and women who died in the name of freedom. 

Chief Darran Handshaw said the department also uses the day to remember their brothers and sisters who are no longer here.  

“Over the years, many organizations use this day, as we do, to remember and honor their own deceased members,” he said, addressing the crowd. “So today, the members of the Sound Beach Fire Department and our families, in our own way, observe Memorial Day.”

Handshaw added that this is the department’s 91st year. They wanted to remember and pay homage the members who helped build the foundation of the department that has been around for almost a century.

During the hour-long event, a dozen people sat inside the firehouse, as they listened to members read the names of nearly 50 people who impacted the department in one way or another. 

Eight-year-old Rocky Point Cub Scout Mason Ulscheimer kicked off the event with the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Family members of the deceased people came up to the podium to say the names of their loved ones, and tears were shed as the department’s honor roll was recited. 

“We all should reflect on the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and on those who die for those freedoms,” said Second Assistant Chief Alex Riley. “To any families of our fallen heroes who are here today, we say, ‘Thank you.’ We owe them and their loved ones our heartfelt gratitude and so much more.”

The event ended with Handshaw, Riley and First Assistant Chief Bill Rosasco placing a wreath at the department’s 9/11 memorial.

The LoRusso brothers at West Point Academy. Photo from family

“Always remember those service members that died on this day. They did not lose their lives, they gave their life to support the freedom of the American people,” John Fernandez, Shoreham resident.                                                                 

These are the words of army veteran, 1996 Rocky Point High School and 2001 United States Military Academy graduate Fernandez on the meaning of this national holiday. A combat veteran that was severely wounded in Iraq, he has the constant reminders of his service to America. This local father of six children, recalls the sacrifices of his grandfathers, who both fought during World War II. The North Shore does not have to look far to understand the importance of Memorial Day through the experiences of our local citizens.

Gary Suzik, a resident of Rocky Point, served in the navy from 1963 to 1967. He has the unique experience of being stationed on naval ships that were off the coast of Vietnam, within the Mediterranean Sea, and during the Dominican Crisis in 1965.

Joseph Cognitore, Post 6249 Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander. Photo from family

Suzik was on the first crew to serve on the USS La Salle, where he operated the landing craft that were launched from this ship. While Suzik is a native of Michigan, the La Salle was built in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and it was launched for its duty in 1964. This Vietnam and Cold War veteran’s father fought during the Battle of the Bulge in December of 1944, and his three uncles were in the air force, army and marine corps during World War II.

Longtime resident of Miller Place and Wading River veteran Dan Guida was an army lieutenant. This 76-year-old member of Post 6249 Rocky Point Veterans of Foreign Wars was drafted into the army in 1966.  Guida had extensive training as an armor officer at Fort Knox, Kentucky and he was deployed to South Vietnam between 1967 and 1968. He was stationed 50 miles south of Da Nang near the former border between these two warring nations.  

Some 54 years ago, Guida vividly identified his time with I Corps in this war, as there were no days off against an enemy that was dangerous and willing to fight at every moment. As a tank platoon leader of tanks and armored personal carriers, Guida is proud of his time in uniform and is always pleased to be with his fellow “brothers in uniform” at Post 6249.

Pat Biglin had a vastly different military job than many of his fellow comrades at this post. From 1963 to 1967, Biglin was in the air force where he was stationed in Turkey, only 60 miles away from the former Soviet Union. As a young man, he spied on this communist Super Power on a base that was located on the Black Sea, that was situated in north eastern portion of this North Atlantic Treaty Organization power. 

Biglin’s position was part of the security service that was made up of 1% of all members of the air force through its ability to analyze communication and intelligence transmissions from this former enemy.  This special unit tracked every plane that took off within the Soviet Union and he broke coded messages that were sent directly to the National Security Agency. Always armed with a big smile and a can-do attitude, Biglin continues to serve Post 6249 as its military chaplain.

A resident from Middle Island Glenn Ziomek was a finance administrator that was sent to Frankfurt, Germany after the end of the Vietnam War. While this was a difficult period for this country after the loss of Vietnam, Ziomek recalled that the morale was good among American soldiers at this European army base. 

Joseph Cognitore, Post 6249 Veterans of Foreign Wars Commander. Photo from family

He enjoyed the traveling throughout Germany and Austria, the culture of these countries, and personally speaking to these people. But he vividly remembered hostile anarchy that was created by the German terrorist group Baader Meinhof Gang that caused havoc near the American military bases. 

For Ziomek, Memorial Day is a moment where he likes to think of his father who served in the navy during World War II and his uncle who survived the D-Day landings, who was later shot in the arm and wounded.

Since the creation of this republic, there has always been family ties of defense of this country. You do not have to look far to notice the strength of character of patriotism that is still demonstrated today by Tom and Ray Semkow. Like many families, their parents endured many stressful times, as these two sons were involved within continuous fighting over several years in South Vietnam. 

A city boy that grew up on the Lower Eastside of Manhattan, Ray entered the United States Marine Corps in 1965. After he graduated from boot camp at Paris Island, South Carolina, he was sent to South Vietnam. Overseas, Ray was a mechanic and a door gunman that was attached to the I Corps out of Phu Bai, that was near the city of Hue. 

Ray flew countless missions in the Quang Tri Province to pick up numerous casualties, where he helped bring them to safety for medical attention. He also conducted classified operations that saw him enter Laos to deter the enemies use of the Ho Chi Minh Trail that supplied the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong with soldiers and supplies.  

Before Tom was sent to Vietnam, he spent two weeks with his brother, who returned home from completing his duty in this war-torn country. In 1968, Tom was a combat medic in the army’s 5th Special Forces that was in the Mekong Delta during deadliest year of this war during the Tet Offensive.  

Tom trained South Vietnamese soldiers and he identified the terrible losses amongst the civilians and the many children that were killed and wounded by booby-traps that were used by the Viet Cong. 

On this Memorial Day, he thinks of the losses that were felt by his own men during the extremely dangerous days of Tet against the enemy. Both brothers still serve today through their devoted efforts of Post 6249 into making this community into a better place.

The LoRusso brothers at West Point Academy. Photo from family

Mike Biscardi is a younger member of Post 6249 that served in the army from 2009 to 2018. He was a military police officer that was attached to the 800th Military Police out of Fort Totten, New York, and the 305th that was in Wheeling, West Virginia. 

This local veteran was sent to Bagram, Afghanistan and later to Germany through “Operation of the Atlantic” to monitor the Russian invasion of the Crimea, Ukraine. Most recently, Biscardi has been deployed to Jones Beach to help the New York Department of Health to administer the COVID-19 vaccination shots. On this Memorial Day, he recalls the military service of his good friend from Shoreham who had passed away. To remember this lost service member, he participates in the annual Michael P. Murphy four-mile race around Lake Ronkonkoma to honor his good friend.  

And always next to these veterans from various conflicts and times within every branch of the military is Joseph A. Cognitore. This long-time commander of Post 6249, served in Vietnam as a platoon sergeant, that fought in Cambodia, and was awarded the Bronze Star.  

Ever since the first Gulf War, Cognitore’s has always presented an iron will to help the veterans of this community, state and nation. On Memorial Day, Cognitore thinks of the army soldiers that fought with him at the end of the Vietnam War, and his own son — graduate of Rocky Point High School — Joseph Jr., that is currently serving as a colonel in the army. 

Like that of the Semkow brothers, this part of the North Shore has a multitude of families that have seen their loved ones enter the military. Nicholas, Kevin, Brian and Larry LoRusso were talented athletes and all attended West Point where they played lacrosse. 

Three of the brothers, Kevin, Brian and Larry served as platoon leaders within the field artillery and Nicholas was an engineer that also taught military sciences at this school. Currently, Nicholas is still in the army as a major, and was deployed to Iraq in 2009 and Afghanistan in 2012. 

A former captain of the Army lacrosse team, Kevin served in Afghanistan in 2011. Three of the older brothers are married and they have started families of their own. 

On this Memorial Day, Nicholas said, “I was able to come home, where other service members did not.  On this date, I hug my kids a little tighter and give my wife an extra kiss.”  

Kevin wants to remember his lost classmates and soldiers that he was deployed with overseas. He believed that these soldiers were the “true heroes” that he honors on this holiday.

A graduate of Rocky Point High School in 2013, Matthew N. Amoscato, attended the United States Maritime Academy at Kings Point, New York, graduating in 2018 with a degree in marine engineering.  

Matthew Amoscatto. Photo from family

Right now, Amoscato is training to become a pilot in Pensacola, Florida and Corpus Christi, Texas. Currently he lives in Oklahoma, where he is undergoing survival training in Coronado, California. This pilot of E-6 B Mercury Boeing 707 military aircraft would like to thank all those men and women that have “carried the torch of duty” before his time in the navy.

Craig McNabb, a current Suffolk County Corrections Officer, and the son of a veteran that fought in Iraqi Freedom, believes there is more to Memorial Day than “BBQ’s and a shopping holiday.”

 A graduate of Rocky Point High School in 2014, he was trained as a Protection Service Detail that ensured the security of high-ranking officers, and American and foreign political officials at Bagram and Kabul, Afghanistan. He personally escorted former Secretary of Defense leaders of Ash Carter and James Mattis. 

McNabb was stationed in this tumultuous nation during a dangerous period of when the Taliban utilized explosives to strike fear and losses into the American military and the civilian population.  

Rocky Point High School Social Studies Teacher Bill Weinhold spent several years in the United States Coast Guard before entering the classroom. This teacher and coach is the youngest veteran to be serving in this school district.  

Weinhold remembers Memorial Day of 2010, “as my first military holiday in the service. I had been on my ship for several months at this point and was underway on the USCGC Naushon running fisheries enforcement missions. I remember the cool, rainy Southeast Alaskan spring day handling lines for the small boat we would launch to intercept fishing vessels to ensure they were acting in compliance with Alaskan and federal regulations.”  

It is not difficult to see the positive influence of the Coast Guard on the daily routines that Weinhold presents to his students through his teaching and coaching abilities.

Thank you to those veterans that continue to make this nation extremely proud of their on-going service to defend the United States. Especially those graduates from the North Shore that have fought within every branch of the military.  

Rocky Point High School students Madelynn Zarzychi and Sean Hamilton helped write this article.

Rich Acritelli is a social studies teacher at Rocky Point High School and an adjunct professor of American history at Suffolk County Community College.

For the second year in a row, the Memorial Day parade could not be held along Main Street  and Route 25A in Setauket due to COVID-19 guidelines.

However, Veterans of Foreign War Post 3054 organized a wreath-laying ceremony at Setauket Veterans Memorial Park May 31. Veterans, elected officials and residents memorialized those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

At the end of the ceremony, photo below left, Town of Brookhaven Councilman Jonathan Kornreich (D-Stony Brook), county Legislator Kara Hahn (D-Setauket) and state Assemblyman Steve Englebright (D-Setauket) took time out to take a photo with Post 3054’s new Post Commander Reanna Fulton, second from right.

METRO photo

With the Memorial Day weekend behind us, it’s time to enjoy outdoor get-togethers such as barbecues and lazy days on the beach. Unfortunately, this time of year also means more drivers under the influence on our roads and more inexperienced ones, too. 

When attending a party, it’s pretty simple. If you plan on drinking alcohol or ingesting other substances that can impair your senses, make sure you have a plan. There is no excuse for driving under the influence. Once upon a time, someone who planned on drinking needed to have a designated driver, plan to sleep over at the place where they were partying or call a taxi. Sometimes many partiers found themselves with a designated person who decided they would have a little fun, too. Or, with no room to sleep at the house where the party was held or a taxi that never showed up, they then got behind the wheel of a car and took off. Nowadays, with phone apps to order car services such as Uber or Lyft, there’s no excuse for driving under the influence of any substance.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2019, 10,142 people lost their lives due to drunk-driving crashes in the U.S. That’s 10,142 lives that were lost unnecessarily. But there is even more to watch out for on the road during those hot months besides drunk drivers. 

Memorial Day to Labor Day has become known as the “100 deadliest days” of the year as the teen driver death rate increases. According to AAA, from the unofficial start of summer to its unofficial end, there are “more fatal crashes per day, on average, involving teen drivers compared to the rest of the year.”

A study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found more than 7,000 teens died in such crashes from 2010-19 in the U.S. In New York state, during the same period, 473 teen drivers died in car crashes. Risk factors include teens lack of driving skills and experiences behind the wheel and the unstructured time that summer brings with kids out of school and not having as many activities such as sports and clubs. There are also other risk factors such as texting while driving, running red lights, driving aggressively and not wearing a seat belt.

What can one do when they’re traveling the roads besides watching out for drivers who are weaving in or out or running red lights? The best thing is to set an example of good driving habits on the road, especially when young people are in the passenger seats, which means cinching that seat belt, no texting or talking on the phone, no eating or drinking while steering.

And to play a part in keeping impaired drivers off the road, of course, when you’re hosting a party, make arrangements for your guests who will be indulging themselves.

The summertime should be time for fun, not for tears. Let’s keep the roads in our community safe, not only for the next few months but all year long. It just takes making a few wise decisions.

As the rains finally subsided May 31 after a wet weekend, the American Legion Post 694 held a march, stepping off at the corner of Church and Main in Northport.

Participants stopped at 12 monuments along  the way to Northport Village Park. The American Legion members were joined by hundreds of fellow marchers that included Northport Pipe and Drum and Boy Scouts.

Hundreds of spectators took in the parade and joined the post members at the end with  a ceremony to remember the fallen at the park.

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Above: Sitting in a decorated touring car, Abram Bentley, Port Jefferson’s last surviving Civil War veteran, leads the village’s 1930 Independence Day Parade accompanied by his wife Marion. Photo from Kenneth C. Brady Digital Archive

On Memorial Day, we honor America’s fallen sailors and soldiers and decorate the graves of the men and women who served in the nation’s armed forces.

Among the comrades-in-arms buried at Port Jefferson’s Cedar Hill Cemetery, Abram Bentley was the village’s last surviving Civil War veteran.

Known locally as “Uncle Abe,” Bentley was born in Manhattan on Sept. 4, 1844 and apprenticed at a carriage factory while in his teens.

At the age of 20, Bentley enlisted in Company I, 39th Regiment, New Jersey Infantry, which fought the Confederates in Virginia. He was soon promoted to corporal and then sergeant.

After his discharge and return to civilian life, Bentley married Marion Wilson of Newark, New Jersey, on Dec. 9, 1866. Days later, the newlyweds traveled by the steamer Sunbeam from New York City to Port Jefferson, where a job awaited the groom.

Skilled as a wheelwright and an upholsterer, Bentley worked at Effingham Tuthill’s carriage shop on Main Street. After Tuthill left Port Jefferson in 1874, Bentley continued operating the establishment with Aaron Coles and John Baldwin. By 1886, as his partners withdrew from the business, Bentley became the sole proprietor of the company.

Besides running a manufactory, Bentley was active in Port Jefferson’s Baptist Church on East Main Street, today’s Harborview Christian Church. He was the superintendent of the Sunday School, a member of the choir, secretary/treasurer of the bible class, and a deacon. 

He was also a Republican party stalwart, served on the election board and completed four terms as Brookhaven Town Auditor.

Never forgetting his time in the military, Bentley was a founder and later commander of Lewis O. Conklin Post 627, Grand Army of the Republic, a Union veteran organization with a “camp” in the village. 

Under Bentley’s leadership, the Post organized Port Jefferson’s annual Decoration Day ceremonies which typically began with religious services at the Baptist Church. The GAR members, followed by a contingent of townspeople, then marched to Cedar Hill Cemetery. 

After listening to a stirring patriotic address and martial music played by the Port Jefferson Brass Band, the veterans adorned the graves of their lost brothers with flowers, wreaths, crosses, and flags. Among those interred at the cemetery, there are over 40 soldiers and sailors who served with the North during the Civil War.

Below: Civil War veterans, Lewis O. Conklin Post 627, Grand Army of the Republic, are shown during Decoration (Memorial) Day ceremonies at Port Jefferson’s Cedar Hill Cemetery. Abram Bentley is fourth from the right.
Photo by Arthur S. Greene. Photo from Kenneth C. Brady Digital Archive

Bentley also represented Port Jefferson at the GAR’s regional encampments, was a familiar figure at the head of the village’s Fourth of July parades and was drill master of the local Boys’ Brigade, a semi-military organization founded “to develop Christian manhood” among Port Jefferson’s youth.

“Uncle Abe” died at his home on Thompson Street on June 25, 1934. He was predeceased by his wife who had passed the previous March. They had been married for over 67 years.

On the day of Bentley’s funeral, the destroyer USS Lea (DD-118) was anchored in Port Jefferson Harbor to take part in the village’s 1934 Independence Day celebrations. The warship was named after an officer killed during the Civil War. 

An honor guard from the Lea escorted the caisson carrying Bentley from the Baptist Church to his final resting place in Cedar Hill Cemetery, a fitting end for one of Port Jefferson’s beloved citizens. 

 Kenneth Brady has served as the Port Jefferson Village Historian and president of the Port Jefferson Conservancy, as well as on the boards of the Suffolk County Historical Society, Greater Port Jefferson Arts Council and Port Jefferson Historical Society. He is a longtime resident of Port Jefferson.

Stock photo

In observance of Memorial Day,  the office of TBR News Media will be closed today, Monday, May 31. Thank you to the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

“Our flag does not fly because the wind moves it.

It flies with the last breath of each soldier who died protecting it.”

– Unknown

Our national remembrance of Memorial Day had its roots after this nation fought the Civil War that ended in April of 1865.  

Former veterans remembered their comrades after the terrible fighting of this four-year war in Waterloo, New York, in 1866.  

Almost, a year after the fighting came to an end, the residents of this upstate town used flowers and flags to pay tribute to those citizens that were impacted by this war. 

In 1868, General John A. Logan called for the nation to show unity in honoring the soldiers from both regions, as he stated that the battle scars and losses were felt within every American town.  

“Decoration Day” was loosely recognized by most states until 1971, when “Memorial Day” was established by the government as a federal holiday. Through a three-day weekend, the blooming of flowers paid tribute to those men and women that served to protect this proud nation.  

On this day, Americans take a moment to understand the historic examples of military service that has strengthened this country since the creation of our republic. 

From May 18 to July 4, 1863, General Ulysses S. Grant was in position to drive a decisive wedge against the Confederate ability to carry out this war. At this time, Grant was in the midst of a 47-day siege against the mighty fortifications and gun emplacements that hindered the Union transportation on the Mississippi River. 

Since December of 1862, Grant struggled to overtake this southern post that was called the “Gibraltar of the Confederacy.”  

For several months, Grant sought one scheme after another that failed within his goals of taking control of these powerful guns that proved impossible to overcome. The press turned against Grant, whom they wrote was heavily drinking on duty and should be replaced by Lincoln. Even this president who appreciated the fighting devotion of Grant believed that he was the only friend that Grant had within the government.  

On April 16 and 17, Grant gambled perhaps the entire war, by moving his forces under all of the guns at Vicksburg to operate south of these enemy forces. Even as the Confederates opened fire, Grant who was accompanied by his wife and son, observed that his entire flotilla of ships that held men and materials were practically unscathed by this assault. 

Now, Grant was within the interior of the state of Mississippi, where he successfully fought several battles, took over the capital of Jackson, and pushed General John C. Pemberton back to the gates of Vicksburg. Lincoln was ecstatic over the fighting exploits of Grant, and this was shown when he was visited by several congressional leaders. 

They were alarmed at reports that this general was drinking too much alcohol while he led this massive army. The President listened to the complaints against Grant and firmly stated that whiskey should be allocated to his other generals that have yet to fight and win any significant battles. 

By June of 1863, he established a siege of Vicksburg, where these heavy artillery guns were useless to the southerners, and it was only a matter of time before this position was captured by Grant on Independence Day of 1863. 

Grant was at the cusp of the largest victory of the war, where he proved that Lincoln was correct to stick with this general that was widely criticized after the Battle of Shiloh and during the earliest attempts to take Vicksburg.

Closer to home during World War I, Camp Upton that is now known as Brookhaven Laboratory, played a pivotal role in preparing American soldiers for the rigors of this conflict. 

Once President Woodrow Wilson finally declared war on Germany and the Central Powers on April 2, 1917, the United States compared to the European powers, had a small force of 127,000 soldiers, with 181,000 National Guardsmen. 

While Wilson kept “our boys out of the war” before he was re-elected in 1916, the President was now responsible to prepare our soldiers that were mostly drafted into service to fight against the battle-hardened strength of Germany. 

At once, the government invested three billion dollars to raise, equip, and modernize the armed forces within an extremely brief period of time. Eventually 40,000 soldiers from mostly New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut received their earliest instruction at Camp Upton. 

They were comprised of more than twenty-five national backgrounds that came from different walks of American life. There was musical composer Irvin Berlin and one of the most decorated veterans of this war, Sergeant Alvin York, briefly called this part of Yaphank their home.

This army base that was established at Camp Upton played a vital role in establishing the training that was necessary to fight an experienced German military on the Western Front. 

At this moment, the local towns of Rocky Point, Miller Place, Ridge, Middle Island, Wading River, and Yaphank, watched a huge influx of civilians from around this nation walked into the confines of Camp Upton.  As we remember Memorial Day, it was some-105 years ago, that these soldiers were trained how to march, shine their boots, make a bed, follow orders, fire a weapon and handle explosives at this local base.  

While Camp Upton was across the vast Atlantic Ocean, it provided a vital morale booster for our country that American soldiers that were trained at this installation were sent overseas to help win this war.  General John J. 

Pershing the Expeditionary Commander of all-American forces in France counted on the soldiers that were from Camp Upton that later aided the British and French in finally defeating the Germany Empire.  

Reinforcements from the United States were desperately needed, as the casualty rate for both sides was excessive with an average of 230 soldiers that died during every hour of fighting between these fighting nations.

About 81 years later, General Dwight D. Eisenhower was preparing for the D-Day invasion of France that took place on June 6, 1944.  

Like that of Grant, he was a mid-western officer, that was an easy officer to like, and a figure that believed in his duty to help win the war. Eisenhower was chosen over General George C. Marshall the great “Organizer of Victory,” due to the unwillingness of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to allow his most trusted general to leave the nation.  

And with this massive buildup of men and materials, Eisenhower with his trademark smile and ability to get along with the other senior leaders of the allies, was determined to establish the best possible plan to pierce Hitler’s “Atlantic Wall” in Normandy.  

For several months leading up to this invasion, there were 73,000 American soldiers, and 83,000 British and Canadian men that were preparing to land on five beaches that spanned over fifty miles.  

To support this massive operation that was the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany, over 7,000,000 tons of resources were shipped from the United States, that included 450,000 tons of ammunition.  Citizens from every part of America prepared for their role in the “Great Crusade” to defeat one of the worst tyrannical leaders in world history.  

While the British were in their fifth year of the war, they were pleased to see American soldiers and to befriend young men that were from places like New York City, Boston, Duluth, Galveston, Phoenix and Seattle.  It was common to read the British slogan about the American presence of being “overpaid, oversexed, and over-here.” 

As the Yanks were never shy to show their wild side, many of these soldiers were barely out of high school, and they were ultimately used to defeat the 50,000 German soldiers that defended these beaches that rested on the English Channel. As one of the most accomplished generals that this nation ever produced, Eisenhower was a simple officer that cared about his men.  

Eisenhower had much in common with the average private, sergeant and officer that was expected to carry out this complex operation. He was from a poor background, that was fortunate to gain an admission for a college education at the United States Military Academy at West Point, was a talented football player and later coach, and he played minor league baseball under an assumed name.  

When meeting with American soldiers, Eisenhower looked for army personnel that was from his hometown of Abilene, Kansas.  

Although he was devoted to win the war, he accepted that casualties were going to be high, Eisenhower identified with some of the parents that were praying for their children that were in uniform.  At the very moment that he prepared to issue the Operation Overlord orders, his son John prepared to graduate from West Point as a second lieutenant. 

By the end of the war, both father and son were serving together within the European Theater to see the collapse of the Third Reich. Over the important history of the United States, Americans have always sacrificed and served for this nation. 

May we always remember the examples of military service by our men and women that have proudly defined the strength and character of this country.

Rocky Point High School students Madelynn Zarzychi and Rosario Orantes helped write this article.

Rich Acritelli is a social studies teacher at Rocky Point High School and an adjunct professor of American history at Suffolk County Community College. 

From left, Councilman Ed Smyth; Senior Bay Constable Jeff Kropp; Councilwoman Joan Cergol; Senior Harbormaster and Interim Maritime Services Director Fred Uvena; Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci; Jackie Martin; Ed Carr, Commodore of GHCYBC; and members of GHCYBC. Photo from TOH

Huntington Town Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci, Town officials, the Town Harbormaster, Bay Contables and members of the Greater Huntington Council of Yachting and Boating Clubs met at Mill Dam Marina in Halesite on Thursday, May 27 to promote boating safety for boaters and kayakers.

Saturday, May 22 kicked off Huntington’s Boating Safety Week heading into Memorial Day weekend. May, June, July and August are the busiest times for boating on Long Island.

“We expect high volume turnout on the water this year. Our Harbormaster’s Office averaged one rescue per day last season for boaters and kayakers,” said Supervisor Chad A. Lupinacci. “Kayakers: Don’t get out on the water before learning how to extricate yourself from an overturned kayak or how to get back into or on your kayak in deep water while you wait for rescue. Test yourself – not alone – but practice with a partner, sit in your kayak in shallow water, and turn the kayak over. Do not learn the hard way.”

“We Huntington residents are fortunate for our proximity to the waterfront, but that privilege comes responsibility. I want to thank the Greater Huntington Council of Yacht and Boating Clubs for helping Huntington meet one of our most important responsibilities: safety on the water. Each year the Boating Council sponsors an invaluable array of boating education classes for people of all ages and is a generous contributor of improvements to our waterfront and toward the well-being of boaters. Their public service is exemplary,” said Councilwoman Joan Cergol.

Councilman Ed Smyth reminded boaters that they can pick up spare lifejackets available at the Harbormaster’s office at the Halesite Marina, adding advice for kayakers, whom the Town has seen in increase in activity over the past year, “Kayakers should take note of offshore winds before getting out on the water — if you’re not careful, you may end up in Connecticut waters.”

Senior Harbormaster Fred Uvena warned that his team of Bay Constables are well-trained to spot intoxicated boaters and they are prepared to make BWI arrests. He warned against speeding and the dangerous wakes speeding boats create, also advising boaters to include baby aspirin in their first aid kits, and even ibuprofen as a precaution against anaphylactic shock from bee stings and other allergic responses that may occur over the waterways.

Boaters may call VHF Channel 16 for emergencies and VHF Channel 9 for pump-out service. The Harbormaster’s Office is located at 53 N. New York Avenue, Halesite, NY, open Monday through Saturday 8:30am to 4:30pm, office phone (631) 351-3255.

Jackie Martin of the Greater Huntington Council of Yachting and Boating Clubs reviewed highlights from Huntington’s 9th Annual Safe Boating Week, which was established after three children lost their lives in a preventable boating tragedy in 2012. She advised boaters, “you are responsible for your wake.”

The Harbormaster also reminded beachgoers of the reason dogs are not allowed on the sand at any beach, “Children play in the sand and you cannot clean up pet urine so please, respect your fellow residents and do not allow your dog on the sand, it’s unsanitary – keep them in the parking lot or on boardwalks.”

Supervisor Lupinacci also advised boaters and kayakers not to disturb the bird sanctuary at Hobart Beach, as landing boats and kayaks on the sand in the area of the preserve can have significant unintentional consequences for the endangered birds nesting there.

“Please heed the signs and fencing, stay away from the water and sand in the entire area located south of the parking lot during the birds’ mating season, which runs from early April through August.”

All trespassers in the sanctuary, including on foot, should be reported to the Department of Public Safety’s 24/7 emergency hotline at (631) 351-3234.

VIDEO: https://huntingtonny.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=4&clip_id=2531