Three sixth-grade students from Pulaski Street School were recognized last Friday as winners of the 15th annual Hometown Heroes Essay Contest in memory of Vietnam War veteran Private First Class Garfield Langhorn Jr.
The winners were Addison Heck, Dayami Carbajal Serrano and Isabella Umana. They answered the question: “How can you honor the memory of Garfield M. Langhorn Jr.?”
“A thread of kindness and altruism was woven throughout each of their essays,” the district said in a press release.
Pfc. Langhorn, a Riverhead native, posthumously earned the Medal of Honor, the most prestigious military decoration, as well as the Purple Heart. On Jan. 15, 1969, Pfc. Langhorn threw his body onto a grenade to save the lives of fellow soldiers, several of whom had already been injured during a mission to recover the bodies of two pilots whose helicopter was shot down by enemy fire.
In January, a ceremony was held at the Riverhead Post Office that bears his name to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Pfc. Langhorn.
Photo caption: The essay winners, from left, Addison Heck, Isabella Umana and Dayami Carbajal Serrano. (Credit: Riverhead Central School District)