Supervisor Rich Schaffer, Deputy Supervisor Tony Martinez and Councilwoman Jackie Gordon recently attended a re-dedication ceremony for a sports field and park in West Babylon. The park, located on Old Farmingdale Road, was named after Captain John C. Pape, 25, after he was killed in action in Vietnam. The re-dedication included a new plaque situated underneath an American flag, as well as a new sign in the front of the park that welcomes visitors. Several community leaders were in attendance, including Suffolk County Legislator Kevin McCaffrey.
The ceremony featured speeches from Schaffer, Pape’s brother Eric and Kyra Duke, a student at West Babylon High School. Duke completed a project two years ago that focused on the eight alumni from her school that died while serving their country. After researching the eight men, including Pape, Duke created framed profiles of each hero, featuring their names and photos. Her project was on display as she addressed the crowd and read an account written by a soldier who served with Pape, citing his bravery and other admirable qualities.
The West Babylon High School marching band played the Star Spangled Banner, God Bless America and Taps during the ceremony.