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Building Homes for Heroes® News

Floral Park H.S. honors veterans for Memorial Day


In honor of Memorial Day, students of Floral Park Memorial High School honored our nation’s veterans with a Field of Honor ceremony, culminating with a $2,000 donation to Building Homes for Heroes.

Students in two school clubs, the R.O.O.T.S. Christian Club and the Leos Club, organized the fundraising, with the guidance of their teachers and student advisers. The students offered their peers, faculty and community members the opportunity to sponsor a 3’ x 5’ American flag, mounted on a 6’ pole, to be placed outside of the school’s Memorial Field.

At the Field of Honor Ceremony on May 25, hundreds of flags lined the school’s lawn, each customized with a personal dedication in honor of servicemen or women currently serving in the armed forces, or in remembrance of those who dedicated their lives to serving and protecting America’s freedom.

The inaugural ceremony was attended by hundreds, and featured many guest speakers, including school principal Dr. Kathleen Sottile, student advisor Carolyn Faggioni, and students Jamie Bressmer, Michaela King, Yazmi Miah and Sarah Morgan. Student Lauryn Scott serenaded the audience with “God Bless America,” performing solo the first time, and again a second time, urging the attendees to sing along. The school’s marching band performed the National Anthem.

Many veterans were also in attendance, including 2006 Floral Park Memorial High School graduate Marine Corps Sergeant Dennis Burgos, who paid tribute to his fellow service members who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending their country.

Floral Park American Legion Post 334 advanced the colors at the onset of the ceremony, and members of the 11th New York Regiment, United States Volunteers-America played a major role, including a 21 Gun Salute and the Folding of the Flag. Floral Park student Rebekah Davidson accompanied the 11th Regiment by performing the bugle call, “Taps,” during the Salute.

Winners of the school’s essay contest, “What the American Flag Means to Me,” also took their turns at the lectern to read their essays, including 12th grader Katrel Macena, 9th grader Alyssa Ascani and 8th grader Louis Moore.

Club advisors Kurt Brechtlein and Maura Lauria presented Building Homes for Heroes with the school's donation. Floral Park Mayor Thomas J. Tweedy provided closing remarks.

Building Homes for Heroes expresses their wholehearted appreciation to the amazing students, faculty and veterans who organized and took part in the beautiful ceremony, and to Theresa Whalen for her integral role in orchestrating all of the incredible festivities.