Seven years ago, Kevin Candiotti was researching
the lives of war veterans in the area, one of many
students involved in an ongoing project at Longwood
Saturday, Candiotti, 20, now an NROTC midshipman and
a rising junior at SUNY Maritime College, stood proudly
in full uniform to watch the unveiling of 12 years'
worth of student research.
Left to right Devin Loguercio, Michael Loguercio,
Five granite monuments -
honoring veterans of the Revolutionary War, Civil War,
World War I, Korean War and Vietnam War - were dedicated
at Bartlett Pond Park in Middle Island Saturday, joining
the World War II monument erected there in 2007. The six
monuments are inscribed with the names of more than 500
veterans who lived in the communities that comprise the
Longwood School District.
More than 300 veterans, their families and community
members attended the event.
Erin Waters, 20, a rising
junior at American University who participated in the
project in seventh grade, recalls going to the Riverhead
courthouse to dig through service records and property
deeds of Revolutionary War veteran Jacob Corwin.
"The project was amazing because it connected what we
were reading and learning in class to real people and
real events from the past," she said. "To be 13 years
old and to be able to do my own research was a great
Veterans' biographies compiled by students were
assembled into bound packets, distributed at the
The idea for the monuments
stemmed from a 1998 visit to a Longwood Middle School
class by World War II veteran James Eagle, who spoke of
his experience at Pearl Harbor.
"His story so inspired students that they wanted to
find a way to honor him," said history teacher Paul
Infranco. Under Infranco's guidance, the project
expanded to honor veterans from the other five wars.
The students also raised more than $15,000 for the
monuments through school fundraisers, Infranco said.
Joseph Woodard, 13, took part in the project this
school year, researching World War II veteran Tyrell
Wilson. "He was so interesting to me because he was part
of one of the first mixed-race units to serve in the
military," Woodard said.
"The kids of today are remembering our past," Assemb.
Dean Murray (R-East Patchogue) said in a speech, "and
that's something really special."