(Ed. Note: the following was sent to the BOE and printed here at the writer's request.)
Shortly, our school board will be presented with a petition encouraging you to support renaming the Salem School after Major Douglas Thomas Jacobson. Mr. Jacobson's bravery as a US Marine during the Battle of Iwo Jima earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was one of 27 who received the medal after the battle in which over 7,000 Americans died.
I immediately signed this petition because it is the right thing to do. As has become plainly clear, the people who wear uniforms, be they military police, fire, paramedics, all give of themselves to preserve our freedom as well as our way of life. These are generally fearless young, although in many cases not so young people, many of whom sign up for service right after high school. Through the foresight and efforts of Jerry Sears and Bart Cosolito, Port Washington has been presented with an opportunity to honor a local hero and thereby give recognition to all those who serve or have served our country.
According to information which is on a variety of websites (go to Google.com and type in Mr. Jacobson's full name), Jacobson was born in Rochester, NY, grew up in Port Washington and attended school here. Like so many of "The Greatest Generation," he left high school to join the Armed Forces. About a year later, at age 19, Jacobson, as a Private First Class, won the congressional Medal of Honor for bravery during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Go to the website for details, it's amazing! In any case, having survived Iwo Jima, he came home to a hero's welcome. Subsequently, he fought in Korea and finally, as a major, in Vietnam. He died about two years ago and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Port is a town with fabulous history and Douglas Jacobson is an important part of it. Considering the fact that he grew up and attended high school here, renaming the Salem School after him will serve as inspiration for any young person considering serving their country, be it in uniform or out of uniform. I hope that the school board supports this initiative.