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Veterans' Flag Ceremony Bios - Click Here


The Hampton Bays Public Schools honors the commitment of those in our armed services that defend our nation.  Throughout the year, numerous programs and ceremonies take place that recognize both active service members and veterans and key moments in our history, such as September 11 and Pearl Harbor Day.  Our commitment to teaching students the values of democracy and civic engagement begin in pre-kindergarten and go through a student’s graduation.

Veteran Flag Ceremony
Since 2011, the Hampton Bays Public Schools have gathered monthly to recognize a veteran as a symbol of our local heroes.  In partnership with the American Legion Hand-Aldrich Post 924, a flag is presented to a veteran in his or her honor and then flown at the Veterans Flag Pole at Hampton Bays Elementary School.  The flag flies for the entire month and then, at the following month’s ceremony, is presented to the veteran and a new veteran is honored, thus beginning the process all over again.  Please visit our school calendar for the dates of our ceremonies by clicking here.

To read about our honored veterans dating back to November 2011, please click here.

To honor a veteran, please submit an application by clicking here.



Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed flags on all State government buildings to be flown at half-staff on Saturday, November 2, in honor of World War II U.S. Coast Guard Lieutenant Thomas J.E. Crotty of Buffalo. Lieutenant Crotty was reported MIA and later died at the Cabanatuan POW camp in the Philippines in July 1942. His body will be repatriated to the United States and interred at Holy Cross Cemetery in Buffalo on November 2.

"We all owe a debt of gratitude to Lieutenant Crotty for his service and making ultimate sacrifice while defending our country to ensure freedom for future generations of New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "To honor Lt. Crotty and his legacy as he is finally and rightfully returned home to Buffalo, I am directing flags to half-staff on all State buildings and on behalf of all New Yorkers, I express our sincerest appreciation for his service."

Lieutenant Crotty played a key role in destroying supplies and facilities to prevent them from falling into enemy hands when the U.S. Navy abandoned its main Naval Base in the Philippines following the Japanese invasion in 1941.

Lieutenant Crotty served with the 16th Naval District-in-Shore Patrol Headquarters aboard the USS Quail in the Philippines. When the Japanese invaded the Island of Corregidor in May 1942, Crotty led a team of Marines and Army personnel firing on Japanese soldiers landing on the island's beach. After the surrender of Corregidor, Lieutenant Crotty and thousands of service members were held at the Cabanatuan POW camp. He was the only Coast Guardsman taken prisoner during World War II. On July 19, 1942, at thirty-years-old, Lieutenant Crotty was killed in action and buried in a mass grave with fellow prisoners.

In the decades since the war, the American Graves Registration Service has exhumed and examined the remains of thousands of fallen soldiers to identify them. Using mitochondrial DNA analysis, Lieutenant Crotty's remains were identified on September 10, 2019, and will be sent home to the United States, arriving at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station on November 1.

Please click here for a historical look at when the American flag was previously flown at half-mast