Blue Waves’ Goodbye

first_img The School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps saluted the funeral procession of Tech Sergeant Dashan Briggs as it passed by Riverhead High School Thursday morning. It was the last salute for Riverhead High School students.Over 150 members of the Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps and the football team formed an honor guard to salute alumni and fallen Air National Guardsman Tech Sergeant Dashan Briggs as the funeral procession escorting his remains passed by the school Thursday morning.The hearse escorting 30-year-old Briggs, who grew up in Riverhead and was one of seven airmen killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq, passed by his high school alma mater in observance of a military tradition before making its way to his final resting place at Calverton National Cemetery.A police escort, including New York State Troopers, and Patriot Guard Riders, led the procession past the lines of students under a giant American flag displayed between two Riverhead Fire Department trucks.Seventeen-year-old Michael Daniel, commanding officer of the school’s NJROTC cadets, said he was so extremely proud to be able to experience giving the order to salute for his cadets as well as members of the Riverhead Fire Department. To him Briggs was a great role model for the Riverhead community.“I believe he was a role model because he kind of exemplified what we can do following high school,” said Daniel in an interview after the procession. “Nowadays, there are so many wrong paths you can follow and he followed his heart and his heart brought him in the right direction. He joined the military. He touched so many people.”Daniel said the number of mourners showed the amount of lives Briggs life touched.“He shows what you should try and strive to be as an adult and as a Riverhead High School alumni,” he said.Dozens of cars followed with mourners, some of whom honked their horns, waved or gave the thumbs up sign. One mourner shouted, “Thank you,” to the students.The procession also included representatives from ambulance companies from Riverhead and Westhampton.Riverhead Fire Department Public Information Officer Bill Sanok said that about a dozen firefighters turned out to show their respects for Briggs because he was a member of the community and from an organization similar to theirs. He was a member of the Westhampton Beach Volunteer Fire Department.“There is a respect there,” he said.The students hung yellow, black, and green ribbons and crepe garlands along the football field fence in honor of Briggs, who played on the school’s 2006 undefeated football team. Small American flags dotted the grass, blue carnations were laid down beside them.The NJROTC and football team were joined by other students and faculty from the high school, as well as students of Riverhead Middle School and the Pulaski Street School who stood outside their school buildings. A helicopter performed a final flyover in honor of Briggs, who was a HH-60G special mission aviation flight engineer, as the last mourner passed through the honor guard. Briggs, who lived in Port Jefferson, died when the HH-60 Pave Hawk rescue helicopter he was flying in crashed in western Iraq near the city of Al-Qa’im.Briggs and his fellow guardsmen, three of whom were also stationed with him at the ANG’s 106th Rescue Wing at Gabreski Airport in Westhampton, were operating in support of Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led coalition operation aimed at defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria.There has been no evidence of enemy action in the crash, however, the cause is still under investigation, according to the US Department of Defense.The father of two, who grew up in Riverhead, joined the 106th Rescue Wing in Westhampton in 2010. He was a career soldier who was previously deployed to Afghanistan as a munitions specialist with the 106th Maintenance Group, and to Texas and the Caribbean for hurricanes Harvey and Irma, respectively. He was among the airmen to receive medals for their service during Hurricane Irene.During the Southampton Town Board work session Thursday morning, Supervisor Jay Schneiderman informed colleagues about attending the solemn ceremony earlier in the week, when the bodies of the fallen airmen arrived at Gabreski.“It was very moving and such a tragic thing,” he said. “It’s terribly sad. They paid the ultimate price and we’re forever thankful for their service.”peggy@indyeastend.comadditional reporting by Kitty Merrill Share The School Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps saluted the funeral procession of Tech Sergeant Dashan Briggs as it passed by Riverhead High School Thursday morning.last_img read more

Today is Gun Violence Awareness Day – Wear Orange

first_imgMore than 250 Wear Orange events will take place across the country the weekend of June 2. All events are searchable via an online map and easy to track by following the #WearOrange hashtag.Nza-Ari Khepra, founder of Project Orange Tree and co-creator of Wear OrangeThese events will bring communities together to showcase the full creativity of Wear Orange supporters from concerts to picnics in the park to orange walks to meeting at local landmarks as they turn orange. Wear Orange events are happening starting Friday through the weekend in honor of National Gun Violence Awareness in Florida in, Daytona Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Miami Beach, Naples, Orlando, Pensacola, St. Petersburg, Tallahassee, and Tampa. Specific event details noted below:“It’s truly incredible to watch this movement grow year after year – it has morphed from a moment my friends and I dreamed up to honor Hadiya to a national movement, with events in every state,” said Nza-Ari Khepra, founder of Project Orange Tree and co-creator of Wear Orange. “I’m so grateful to the thousands of Americans who will turn out to turn their communities orange this weekend. Their passion for saving lives from gun violence inspires me to keep going and demanding change.”Hadiya PendletonWear Orange was inspired by friends of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old Chicago high school student killed by gunfire, who decided to honor her life by wearing orange – the color hunters wear in the woods to protect themselves and others. That idea spread quickly and now every year on June 2 – which was Hadiya’s birthday and is now National Gun Violence Awareness Day – Americans across the country Wear Orange and stand united against gun violence.Last year more than 300 noteworthy individuals and organizations, including President Obama, Julianne Moore, Kim Kardashian West, Vogue and Viacom answered the call, making their support for the movement loud and clear. And across the country, nearly 250,000 people took action online and in person at events. This year promises to reach much, much further—the skyline is the limit. Landmarks across the country – including the Empire State Building and Niagara Falls – will go orange in support of National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Today, Friday, June 2, is National Gun Violence Awareness Day and more than 400influencers, corporations, mayors, partner organizations and a series of iconic landmarks across the country will participate in the Wear Orange campaign.Wear Orange campaign elements—including events in 12 cities—in Florida are listed below:Skylines and key buildings nationwide began turning orange on June 1 – the start of Gun Violence Awareness Month – including the Empire State Building.  Key landmarks in Florida turning orange include in Fort Lauderdale, the Bank of America Plaza, in Miami, The Intercontinental Hotel and Miami Tower; in Orlando, The Amway Center, Lake Eola and the See Art Exhibits; in Pensacola, the Graffiti Bridge will be painted orange; in Tallahassee, the Historic State Capitol, and in Tampa. Florida mayors and including Mayor Susan Hainey (Boca Raton), Mayor Greg Ross (Cooper City) and Mayor Derrick Henry (Daytona Beach), Mayor Jack Seiler (Fort Lauderdale), Mayor Lauren Poe (Gainesville), Mayor Peter Bober (Hollywood), Mayor Bill Barnett (Naples), Mayor Jack Brady (North Lauderdale), Mayor Buddy Dyer (Orlando), Mayor Frank C. Ortis (Pembroke Pines), Mayor Joseph Corradino (Pinecrest), Mayor Dianne Bendekovic (Plantation), Mayor Lemar Fisher (Pampano Beach), Mayor Gregory Oravec (Port St. Lucie), Mayor Phillip K Stoddard (South Miami), Mayor Rick Kriseman (St. Petersburg), Mayor Andrew Gillum (Tallahassee), Mayor Bob Buckhorn (Tampa) and Mayor Jerri Muoio (West Palm Beach) joined the more than 100 mayors nationwide participating in the Wear Orange campaign this year.last_img read more

V’landys’ NRL leadership labelled as ‘tremondous’

first_imgNRL Melbourne Storm coach Craig Bellamy has labelled the leadership of Peter V’landys ‘tremendous’, saying a proposed resumption date of May 28 has given clubs hope in the midst of uncertainty. The ARL Commission chairman has received glowing praise from rugby league circles for his bullish determination to resume the season after the coronavirus shutdown. And while the Storm are facing a relocation to the NSW border to start training on May 4, Bellamy said his players have a ‘spring in their step’ as they work towards a competition restart next month. “I think he’s done a tremendous job,” Bellamy told ABC’s Offsiders on Sunday. “Like I say, it would be easy to sit back on your hands and just wait to see what other people are doing, or what the politicians, you know, are saying or whatever, and the medical people. “But he’s made a date, and let’s try and make it work.” With seven days until NRL training is set to resume, the Storm are still deliberating on where to base the team on the NSW border. Bellamy said the club is weighing up the logistics of moving their entire operation to either Albury or Yarrawonga for three weeks to avoid stricter restrictions in Victoria. They will be isolated from the community and it would allow players to travel back to Melbourne to visit their families over the weekends. However, Storm players will need to return to Melbourne from Queensland, while hooker Brandon Smith is training in isolation in a hotel in the city after returning from New Zealand. It’s a tough scenario for Bellamy to wrangle, but he says the club is willing to do anything for the competition to resume. “Ideally we’d like longer than three weeks to get ready for the competition if it is to start on May 28, but there’s a lot of things that aren’t ideal at the moment so we will make do,” he said. – AAPlast_img read more