Recognition for Military Service At the Scholastic Awards Program
June 7, 2021
This year’s limited, in-person, High School Scholastic Awards Program was held on June 7, 2021 and recognized the outstanding achievements of our amazing students. Congratulations to all those named in the booklet below.
Following a long tradition established by the late Dennis Fagan, Chief Bryan Coon, U.S. Navy Retired, who is currently the High School Technology/Business Department Chairperson, presided over the annual military-service recognition tribute, recognizing four Sayville High School students who have signed for military service: Nicholas Buffardi-U.S. Military Academy West Point; Nicholas Gibbons-U.S. Naval Academy Annapolis; Meghan McLaughlin-U.S. Military Academy West Point; Aiden White-U.S. Marines
Mr. Coon opened the brief ceremony by recognizing “Major General Dennis Fagan U.S. Army National Guard, retired and a former faculty member, who presided over this event for many years before his passing last year. This was something he was very passionate about. He thought it was very important to recognize students who have dedicated themselves to military service. He really put his life into this event; even after being retired for fourteen years, he came every year to be part of it.”
During his address, Mr. Coon reflected on the “abstract concept” that “makes tonight special and possible; and that is Freedom.” Mr. Coon affirmed that Freedom is not guaranteed, but “provided to us … by young citizens who are willing to give up many of our civilian liberties and the good life to put on a uniform, take an oath, and defend this nation.”
Once the select students were called to the stage for recognition, Chief Bryan Coon continued with the traditional Challenge Coin ceremony, bequeathing them the appropriate small coins, bearing their branches emblems.
In closing, Mr. Coon announced that these students were now “part of a new generation of young citizens who are willing to go into harm’s way to protect us and our free society. Our Nation is indebted to them and others like them and we thank them for their commitment to service to this great Nation.”
The moving tribute ended with resounding applause and a standing ovation for the students.