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School District Starts New Veterans' Appreciation Program

Walter Flaherty will be the first to be recognized as part of a new monthly Hampton Bays Schoool District program.

On Thursday morning, in honor of Veterans Day, the Hampton Bays School District will recognize one of Hampton Bays' brave as part of a new monthly program.

According to Lars Clemensen, superintendent of Hampton Bays Schools, the school district is taking its annual Veterans Day event to a new level by making it last throughout the school year in honoring a local hero once a month.

As part of the program, a ceremony will be held each month for a chosen veteran and a flag will be flown in their honor for a month.  The flag will then be taken down and given to the vet or his/her family.

"This takes the idea of history out of the text book," said Clemensen. "We are showing our students a face of one of our heroes."

The first ceremony, will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday at the Hampton Bays Elementary School and will honor Walter Flaherty.

Flaherty, 91, originally from Ridgewood, moved to Hampton Bays after World War II where he served from Jan. 10, 1942 until Oct. 15, 1945 in the 741st Tank Battalion in the European Theater area of operations. Flaherty, like so many other World War vets, landed on Omaha Beach in Normandy France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. His job was to work in the dark of night to clear roads that may have had land mines.

Flaherty is the recipient of the American Service Medal, European/African Middle Eastern Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the Distinguished Unit Badge.

Virginia Whitelaw November 09, 2011 at 09:44 PM
This is truly a wonderful idea. Our veterans need recognition for their achievements. Cheers to Hampton Bays School!
b November 09, 2011 at 10:23 PM
What a great idea!

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