Courtesy photo

Downtown Riverhead plans to honor the town’s veterans in a special way beginning next spring.

The Riverhead Business Improvement District is partnering with the Riverhead Veterans Advisory Committee, Wedel Sign Company and Councilwoman Jodi Giglio to honor past and present veterans, active-duty, reserve and National Guard members to install tribute banners on Main Street lamp posts.

The individualized banners will each honor a specific person, bearing his or her name, military branch and photo.

Community members are encouraged to sponsor a veteran, living or deceased, by submitting an application and image to the Veterans Advisory Committee. The cost to sponsor a banner is $225 for one year of seasonal display.

The 21- by 30-inch banners will be displayed on downtown lamp posts annually from April to June in honor of Memorial Day, and from September to November in observance of Veterans Day. The application will reopen annually, allowing new applicants the opportunity to sponsor their Veteran. Previous year’s banners may be rotated into the display, depending on the number of new banners each year.

“We salute the American veterans and active-duty military whose courage and dedication have protected our freedom and our way of life for generations,” said Thomas Najdzion, chairperson of the Riverhead Veterans Advisory Committee. “We recognize their service and sacrifice, their selflessness and bravery, their hard work and their faith.”

Riverhead Medal of Honor recipient PFC Garfield M. Langhorn Jr. (U.S. Army), who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1969 and Tech. Sgt. Dashan Briggs (Air National Guard, 106th Rescue Wing), who was killed in Iraq in 2018 during Operation Inherent Resolve, will be highlighted and honored with banners sponsored by Wedel Signs.

“The Riverhead BID is grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Veterans Tribute Banner project,” said Kristy Verity, executive director of the Riverhead BID Management Association. “The new banners are a demonstration of our community’s respect and gratitude for the service these men and women have provided for our nation.”

Applications are available at Riverhead Town Hall, 200 Howell Avenue, Riverhead NY 11901. They are also available for download at or at:

The Town of Riverhead Veterans Advisory Committee was formed in 2014 to create awareness of veterans’ issues, assess their needs, and recommend direction for increased services and resources. Chairperson is Thomas Najdzion, Commander of the VFW in Riverhead; Advisory Committee Members on the project include Keri Najdzion and Kimberly Judd.

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