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Lewis Street may be permanently renamed in honor of Tech. Sgt. Briggs

Residents of Lewis Street will be tasked with deciding whether to permanently rename their road in honor of Tech. Sgt. Dashan Briggs.

The Riverhead Town Board discussed a motion at Thursday’s work session to legally rename the street in memory of the fallen Riverhead native who died in a helicopter crash in Iraq as a member of the Air Force’s 106th Rescue Wing in March.

In May, officials held a ceremony to dedicate the street as “Tech Sgt Dashan J. Briggs Way.”

Tech. Sgt. Briggs grew up on Lewis Street and his grandparents Eli and Rose, who raised him, still live on the road. Nearly 100 people attended the ceremony, including Congressman Lee Zeldin.

“We did an honorary renaming of the street,” Supervisor Laura Jens-Smith said at the work session. “The family has requested to do a permanent renaming of the street.”

The road is still officially referred to as Lewis Street. Board members agreed that it should be up to the residents on Lewis Street whether to permanently change and the town will send out a letter seeking input.

“It does require some things as far as your license, your mailing address and things like that if the name of the street is changed permanently,” Ms. Jens-Smith said.

Councilman Jim Wooten noted that research should also be done to look into the history of the street.

“Those streets were named for a reason,” he said. “I don’t know who Doris, Lewis, Wilson, Melene, where those names came from … If there’s no significance to Lewis, I have no problem,” he said.

“You’re basically moving to a different address,” Councilwoman Jodi Giglio said. “But it’s up to the people on Lewis Street.”

Typically when the town has renamed other streets in honor of local heroes, such as Medal of Honor recipient Garfield Langhorn and Wading River firefighter Tom Lateulere, the original street name has remained to not affect the residents’ addresses.

“I’ll always appreciate and thank Riverhead Town for what they have done,” Eli Briggs said at the May ceremony.

Photo caption: The street sign currently says Lewis Street in addition to “Tech. Sgt. Dashan Briggs Way.” (Credit: Tim Gannon)

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