Written by Christy Hinko Friday, 17 August 2012 08:21
Several weeks ago the Island Trees Football Alumni Association completed the Fallen Heros Memorial at the high school. The newly installed bronze plaque now sits adjacent to the original memorial and bears the names of Island Trees graduates who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, as well as those who were members of local and city police and fire departments and lost their lives in 9/11.
Alumni Association Chairman Nick Tonno told Levittown Tribune that three days after the presentation of the second memorial, it had been vandalized. It has since been restored.
Tonno was saddened by the disgraceful act, but said he continues with his mission to memorialize the local residents who have sacrificed so much. He hopes that by getting the word out, friends and family members of these men recognize the names of their loved ones and know that Island Trees will remember their names forever.
Tonno said, “This is what giving back to your community is and the football players sure have shown their support.”
The newest memorial is dedicated to: William Jerry; Donald Hall; Steven Anderson; Gerald McCaffrey; Gerald Cohen; Thomas Bartolomeo; Patrick Murphy; Wayne Crandall; Daniel McGrath; Ronald Klingman; Richard Patterson; William Henaghan; Stephen Karopczyc; Kevin Murphy; Danny Fuentes. The memorial is also dedicated to William Henaghan, an Island Trees student and football player who died on Mother’s Day 1972 in Vietnam; and to Kevin Smith, a 1972 ITHS alumni who perished with the FDNY Hazmat Unit 1 on 9/11. The Island Trees Football Alumni Association originally dedicated this memorial on Oct. 29, 2011. It was the bronze plaque that was only recently installed.
The memorials, which all of the materials and labor were donated by many of the alumni players and their companies, are located on the northeast side of the Island Trees High School, near the field entrance. The original memorial, a tribute to Henaghan and several firefighters who lost their lives in 9/11, was dedicated in 2010.
Island Trees Football continues to seek alumni players and their families for participation in the annual Football Alumni Day. The group is also asking for assistance in gathering any news articles and photos from the past years. Contact Chairman Nick Tonno at (516) 477-1892 for additional information.