Longwood Junior High School social studies project
that began more than a decade ago, will culminate
with the dedication of the final war monument in
Bartlett Pond Park, commemorating the service of
more than 200 Longwood School District veterans
in the Gulf War, Iraq and Afghanistan.
ceremony to unveil the final monument will take
place on Sat., June 16 at 11 AM, at the park, located
on Middle Country Rd., Middle Island.
than 500 dignitaries, including representatives
from Washington, state and local elected officials,
veterans’ organizations, the Longwood Alliance,
local fire departments, students and school officials
will be present to pay tribute to the local heroes.
A color guard from the 106th
Rescue Wing, New York Air National Guard, will open
veteran, active serviceman and woman will be recognized
individually and presented with a medal and Longwood
veteran hat. A bound collection of their student-written
biographies will be distributed to the honorees.
man's story started this entire project,”
Longwood Junior High School Social Studies teacher
Paul Infranco said. “In 1998, Coram resident
and WWII veteran Jim Eagle told a group of Longwood
students about how he survived the attack on Pearl
Harbor. That single tale sparked a
renewed interest in local, living history here in
Longwood. Our kids and then our community soon realized
that every veteran has an important story to tell,
and that every veteran deserves to be recognized,”
raised the $15,000 necessary to fund the first monument,
dedicated in 2007 to World War II veterans. Since
that time, junior high school students have researched
the names and the lives of every Longwood veteran
from all the nation’s wars, using historical
included the National Archives, the Suffolk County
Historical Society, the Town Historian’s office
and the Longwood Public Library.
result was six volumes of biographies. Their research
inspired subsequent funding.
2010, monuments were dedicated to veterans of every
war from the American Revolution through Vietnam.
Those, along with the newest monument, were funded
through the generosity of Caithness Host Benefit
Fund, as well as donations from local civic associations
and the support of
the Town of Brookhaven Parks Department.
names on the monuments at Bartlett are our way of
‘Thanking Every Hometown Hero,’”
said Gail Bailey, president of the Longwood Alliance
and a chief organizer of the project. “We
hope the park will always be a place of recreation
and reflection. Granite last a long, long time.
So should our gratitude to our veterans,”
to limited parking, guests are encouraged to park
at the Middle Island Fire Department, 31 Arnold
Dr., Middle Island; or Longwood Middle School, 41
Yaphank Middle Island Rd., Middle Island, by 10
AM. Shuttle buses will be provided from both locations
to the park.
are invited to a community barbecue at the Middle
Island Fire House following the dedication.
rain date for the dedication is Sun., June 17 at
11 AM. If it rains on Sun., the ceremony will be
moved to Longwood Middle School at 1 PM.