Hampton Bays School District continued its tradition of honoring veterans by conducting a flag ceremony at the elementary school on Nov. 8 in recognition of the service of Frank Pierre. After the ceremony, a special Veterans Day luncheon was held in honor of all local heroes.
Mr. Pierre, an Army vet, graduated from Hampton Bays in 1950. The retired teacher and business owner and his wife, Eileen, raised three children in the hamlet. He still resides in Hampton Bays.
"Our vets and local heroes lead lives of leadership," said Hampton Bays Superintendent of Schools Lars Clemensen. "Honoring these heroes who live among us is a very, very important use of our time."
Suffolk County Legislator Jay Schneiderman avidly agreed with Mr. Clemensen. "This should be part of the New York State curriculum," he said of the monthly ceremonies held at Hampton Bays. "This school has focused on what I think is an important area." He then presented Mr. Pierre with a proclamation on behalf of the New York State Legislature.
During the ceremony, members of the fourth grade read essays and poems about Veterans Day and officers of the K-Kids Club read Mr. Pierre's biography. Students who participated included: K-Kids members Sea Camey, James Clinton, Stephanie Pesantez, Katie Peterson and Lily Simpson, and fourth-graders Isabella Acosta, Makenna Downs, Joe Fava, Melissa Guzman, Isabella Jaramillo Arango, Sophia Mendez and Oscar Mendoza. The classes also formed separate groups to sing the fight songs of each of the five branches of the military. James Clinton led the pledge of allegiance and teacher Sherry Vermette sang the national anthem.
Also present at the flag ceremony were: October honoree Marvin "John" Siebold, members of the American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5350, Hampton Bays Volunteer Ambulance members, Hamptons Bays Fire Department members, those serving in the U.S. Coast Guard, Southampton Town Police Department members, Hamptons Bays school security team members and soldiers from the Francis S. Gabreski Air National Guard Base. Additionally, Southampton Town Supervisor Anna Throne-Holst, Southampton Town Deputy Supervisor Frank Zappone and New York State Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele Jr. attended the ceremony.