School Districts Follow Hampton Bays Example

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Hampton Bays School District’s tradition of honoring a local veteran each month of the school year has brought a sense of pride to the district and community, as well as gained attention from several Long Island school administrators, who are looking to create similar programs within their districts.

“We are honored that fellow school districts have recognized that our program not only pays tribute to our local veterans who have given so much to our country, but that it is beneficial for students to see history outside of their textbooks,” said Superintendent Lars Clemensen.

The Hampton Bay School District began honoring local veterans in 2011 and has since paid tribute to 27 area veterans, including the latest honoree, Dr. Larry Barrell, who served the United States Air Force as a navigator on a Boeing B-17 bomber during World War II.

During each ceremony, which the district coordinates with the Hampton Bays American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924 and VFW Post 5350, an American flag is raised at the Hampton Bays Elementary School for the honoree. The flag then flies for a month.

Also during the monthly event, students sing or perform military songs, read poems and essays about veterans and learn about the life of the honored veteran.

Veterans honored to date include: Arma E. “Ham” Andon, Charley Bivona, Charles Bortzfield, James Joseph Black, Jack Capone, Anthony Dagostino, Walter Flaherty, Vincent Handal, George Johnston, Marilouise Kelly, Joseph Lach Sr., Nicholas Lombardi, James Nicholson, James Papandrea, Esmond “Pete” Penny, Frank Pierre, John “Jake” Poulakis, Raymond Rand, Cyrilo Roque, Bob Shearn, Marvin “John” Siebold, Chet Sinclair, Francis C. “Smitty” Smith, John Wourgola, and Dr. Larry Barrell.