Friday, 01 October 2010 00:00
The Island Trees community in Levittown has a long, proud and storied tradition of military service. The parks, streets and schools have monuments and memorials dedicated to the local servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. In 1972, 20-year-old Island Trees graduate, William “Billy” Henaghan, died in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. Henaghan, who played football and wrestled for Island Trees High School, is remembered by Island Trees for his leadership qualities, athletic ability and devotion to his family, friends and country.
Island Trees School District honored his sacrifice by dedicating the high school athletic field in his honor. The inscription on the plaque reads, “This field named in memory of William Henaghan who through desire, devotion and self discipline dedicated his mind, body and soul to touch the highest goals in athletics and as a human being.”
Now, 37 years later, the district has a new athletic field and will proudly rededicate the field in Henaghan’s honor on Homecoming Weekend, Saturday, Oct. 2 at 11 a.m. The district encourages the whole community to join the ceremony, to remember Henaghan’s sacrifice and the service of 33 other Island Trees residents who bravely gave their lives for our country.
Henaghan’s achievements at Island Trees High School include: Island Trees High School Diploma 1970, Nassau County Wrestling Champion 1969-70, New York State Wrestling Championship Runner-Up 1968-69, and All Conference Football 1969-70. Henaghan’s U.S. Military achievements include: Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Airman’s Medal.
In addition, Claude Daniel Richards, a highly decorated NYPD Bomb Squad Detective who died on 9/11 in the towers will be honored. The Army Color Guard, NYPD Color Guard, and Levittown’s American Legion and Fire Department will attend the ceremony. Fans will be treated to a return appearance by IT Football alum, Pat Seminario, who will perform his personal song dedicated to the American Troops during the IT Homecoming Pre-Game Ceremony. The nationally renowned band, Ready In 10 will perform with Seminario.
Parade route: Begin at the Memorial Middle School back parking lot, come out onto Straight Lane and make a left, take Straight Lane and make a right onto Ramble Lane, take Ramble Lane to South Lane and make a left, take South Lane to Miller Place and make a left, take Miller Place to Longfellow Ave., take Longfellow Ave. to Byron Place and make a left, proceed into the high school parking lot.
Event schedule: At 8 a.m. a Football Alumni Breakfast will be held in the high school gym. At 10:30 a.m. students, teams will assemble for the Homecoming Parade at the Memorial Middle School parking lot. At 11 a.m. the parade begins. At 12:15 p.m. the rededication ceremony of the William Henaghan Football Field at the high school will be held. At 12:45 p.m. a pre-game ceremony will begin on the football field. At 1:30 p.m. The National Anthem. At 1:45 p.m. kick-off versus Mineola. Halftime will feature the Island Trees Marching Band, Kickline, Cheerleaders, Float Recognition, Banner Recognition and the Island Trees Homecoming King and Queen Crowning.