Hampton Bays School District continued its monthly tradition of honoring veterans by conducting a flag ceremony at the elementary school on Friday, Dec. 7, in recognition of the service of Vincent Handal.

Mr. Handal, a World War II Navy veteran, and his wife Mary Jane were in attendance for the ceremony. The flag will fly for one month in front of the elementary school in recognition of Mr. Handal’s service to his country.

The naval enlistee, who traveled the world while in the Navy, was awarded the Ancient Order of the Deep for his service. He served 14 months and sailed to Guam, Saipan, Hong Kong, Okinawa, Arabia, Pompeii and many other exotic locales before he was honorably discharged in 1946.

During the 11th flag ceremony, which was held on Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, Hampton Bays District Superintendent Lars Clemensen read from Mr. Handal’s biography and thanked him for his service.

“Today we pay respect to Mr. Handal, and to all the brave forces who have served our country,” Mr. Clemensen said.

Also present at the flag ceremony were members of the high school jazz choir, who sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and seniors Timothy Berglin and Harry Fotopoulos, who read their award-winning Voice of Democracy essays on the relevancy of the United States Constitution. Third- and fourth-grade members of the K-Kids club also attended the ceremony.

New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr., Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman and Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst also attended the ceremony, as did the November honoree, Tony Dagostino.

Local heroes in attendance at the flag ceremony included members of the American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924 and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9590.