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Mar 16, 2016 10:48 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Hampton Bays Veterans Donate $2,000 To Replace Elementary School Flagpole

Members of the American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924 present a $2,000 check to the Hampton Bays Board of Education at Tuesday night's meeting, to replace a flag pole in front of the elementary school that was blown down in a snow storm in February. Pictured left to right, Hampton Bays Board of Education President Rich Joslin, Richard Steiber and William Hughes. GREG WEHNER
Mar 16, 2016 12:18 PM

The Hampton Bays Board of Education accepted a $2,000 donation from members of American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924 Tuesday night, money that will be used to replace a flagpole in front of the elementary school that was knocked over in a snowstorm last month.

Richard Steiber, commander of the hamlet’s American Legion Post, attended Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting during which he presented district officials with an oversized check. He explained that the flagpole plays an important role in the community, noting that, every month during the school year, a local veteran is honored there with a flag-raising ceremony that is orchestrated by the school district.

“I was approached by Lars about a program to honor veterans, local veterans,” Mr. Steiber said referring to a conversation he had several years earlier with Hampton Bays Schools Superintendent Lars Clemensen.

As part of the flag-raising ceremony—a tradition that started nearly four years ago—students write a short biography about the selected veteran as part of an effort to raise awareness about his or her service. Once the month is up, the honored veteran then gets to keep the flag and a new veteran is honored.

“That old guy walking down the street with a cane, maybe a walker, is not just some old guy,” Mr. Steiber said. “They learn that guy fought in Iwo Jima, or that guy was in D-Day. Then they start studying about these things and history comes to life.”

To date, the program has honored approximately 40 of the more than 500 veterans now residing in Hampton Bays, according to Mr. Steiber’s estimates.

“We’re definitely going to keep this program going,” Mr. Clemensen said after the board accepted the donation. “It’s as important to our veterans as it is to our students.”

The footing for the new flagpole is expected to be poured later this week, and the pole itself should be installed next week.

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Now that's American community spirit!
By Hamptonsseashell (359), on Mar 16, 16 11:41 PM
It is funny that two people can read the same article and have two different opinions. I read it and I thought "With all the money I pay for school taxes, they needed to take $2,000 from a Veterans Organization."
By HB Proud (889), Hampton Bays on Mar 17, 16 9:55 PM