Gratitude in granite – that’s how the Longwood community is “Thanking Every Hometown Hero” this Veterans Day. More than one hundred newly engraved Veterans’ names will be unveiled this Saturday, November 11th at 11 am at Bartlett Pond Park on Middle Country Road in Middle Island.
Longwood Veterans hats and medals will be awarded to the new honorees by the Longwood Board of Education and Superintendent Lance Lohman, as part of the 15th annual Veterans Day Commemoration Ceremony. The event is sponsored by the Longwood Alliance, Middle Island Civic Association, Central Brookhaven Lions Club and Brookhaven Town.
Bartlett Pond Park is home to a unique series of monuments featuring names of Longwood graduates who served in major US military conflicts from the Revolution through the Global War on Terror. The vast majority of the new names, 114, will be added to the GWOT stone – which already contains 325 names. Six names will be added to Vietnam and one each to WWI and the Civil War monuments.
“Longwood is a big place with a big heart,” explains Longwood Alliance president Gail Lynch-Bailey. “The hundreds of GWOT names prove our community’s amazing level of volunteerism and sacrifice.”
Key note speakers are: Colonel Kevin Hicks, Retired, who graduated from Longwood HS in 1985 and served in the US Army from 1986-2015. He was wounded in 2012 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, spending 17 months recovering before returning to duty in 2013; and Petty Officer Ebonnie Goodfield, Retired, who enlisted in the US Navy after graduating from Longwood in 2009. She embarked on two West-Pacific deployments with guided missile destroyers USS Kidd and USS Wayne E. Meyer and was decorated for her ship’s seizure of Somali Pirates in 2011.
Confirmed ceremony attendees include Congressman Nick LaLota, NYS Senator Dean Murray, NYS Assemblyman Joe DeStefano, SC Legislator Sarah Anker, Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine and Councilman Mike Loguercio.
Over thirty local businesses and individuals helped sponsor the name engravings, including Breslin Realty Development, Concern for Independent Living, East End Black Belt Academy, Roanoke Sand & Gravel Corp, Mark Baisch, and the Coram and Middle Island Fire Departments.
“Our community sponsors made this all possible,” said Lynch-Bailey. “We couldn’t do it without their generous support. They helped us complete our mission of Thanking Every Hometown Hero.”