Honoring Patriots and Veterans

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The entire fourth-grade class and select middle school students came together on Tuesday, Sept. 11 to commemorate Patriot Day and to honor the September veteran of the month, Bob Shearn.

“Today we continue a tradition that came about many years ago and was born of tragedy,” Hampton Bays District Superintendent Lars Clemensen said as he addressed the crowd made up of local emergency services responders, American service veterans, local politicians, students, friends and family members. “We raise the flag that flies proudly, a flag that symbolizes all national heroes, as well as for Mr. Shearn.”

Mr. Shearn, a World War II veteran, enlisted in the U.S. Navy in February 1942. In October of that year he became a naval ensign. He left active service in November 1945 and was honorably discharged in 1952 as a senior lieutenant and a qualified submarine officer. For his service, Mr. Shearn received combat recognition in both the European and Pacific theaters and was awarded the Presidential Unit Citation ribbon.

 During the program, several fourth-grade students read biographical information about Mr. Shearn, while others were called upon to read from their poems and essays about Patriot Day. The entire class also sang patriotic songs, and sixth-grader Ava Bianchi sang the national anthem.

Also in attendance were New York State Senator Ken LaValle, New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, Southampton Town Board Member Chris Nuzzi and clergyman Father Sheridan. Additionally, members of the Hampton Bays Fire Department, Southampton Town Police Department, Hampton Bays Volunteer Ambulance Corp. and American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924 were present.