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A Farmingdale Hero’s Welcome Home

Thousands Pay Respect as Lance Cpl. James Argentine Is Laid to Rest

When Farmingdale residents heard Lance Cpl. James D. Argentine’s body was being escorted home, hundreds flocked to Main Street to show their respect and appreciation for his sacrifice.

Argentine, 22, of Farmingdale was among three other Marines killed Aug. 6 by a roadside bomb in the Farah province of Afghanistan, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.

His body was transported home by military and police escort on Aug. 12. Village officials closed down a portion of Main Street as over 300 people lined the sidewalks to pay tribute to Argentine. Residents waited for hours in the rain as the Farmingdale and South Farmingdale Fire Departments created an arch with the American flag. The Farmingdale Fire Department opened its doors for the Argentine family and military personnel to use as a meeting room.

Food was donated by Terry G’s, The Nutty Irishman, Ubaldo’s, Stuff-a-Bagel, Croxley Ale House, Palmer’s Restaurant, Library Café, Changing Times Pub and Sebastian Catering.

“It was nice to see how Farmingdale pulled together to help each other in time of need,” volunteer firefighter Phil LoNigro said.

Later that week Dalers came together again to spread the word, suggesting residents gather at 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 15 along the south side of Hempstead Turnpike to pay tribute to James for his sacrifice and to support the Argentine family during the funeral.

Over 2,000 people lined along Conklin Street, which was closed by Nassau and Suffolk County Police Departments from Main Street to Airport plaza.

Rev. Augustine Fernando presided over the Funeral Mass held at St. Kilian’s in Farmingdale. He addressed James’ parents Jan and Robert, saying, “You taught him good values. You taught him loyalty to friends and family. You taught him selflessness of service.”

Local fire companies from Farmingdale, South Farmingdale, East Farmingdale, Stewart Manor, Uniondale, Plainview, Syosset, New Hyde Park, East Meadow, Hempstead, Levittown, West Babylon, North Babylon, Wyandanch and Melville created eight arches along the route from St. Kilian’s to Long Island National Cemetery in Farmingdale.

Argentine graduated in 2005 from St. Anthony’s High School in Huntington and enlisted in the Marines in October 2006. He is survived by his parents, Jan and Robert and his fiancée, Crystal Saarie.