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Garfield Langhorn was a RHS graduate who died heroically in the Vietnam War by throwing his body over a grenade to save the lives of the other soldiers near him.
PFC Garfield Langhorn was a Riverhead High School graduate and a Congressional Medal of Honor winner. For six years, the Pulaski Street School has honored the memory of PFC Garfield Langhorn, and his heroism and act of valor in the Vietnam war is the inspiration for the Pulaski Street School's annual sixth grade essay contest. Video--History PFC Garfield Langhorn's act of heroism as presented by Trevor Hewitt.
According to one of the organizers, sixth grade teacher Maryanne Harroun, all sixth grade students were invited to participate in the essay contest. The theme of the contest was presented in the form of the question, "Inspired by Garfield Longhorn’s actions, ask yourself ‘What can a person your age do to help?’" One hundred and seventy-four entries were submitted this year.
The winners read their essays at the assembly:
Amanda Brown – Ms. Devlin’s class - "I know that I must do great things in school so I can do great things in life to help my generation change the world... Life is about love, laughter and giving. . . I know that I will help make this world a better place one step at a time . . . " >Entire Essay
Joseph Gorgone – Ms. Devlin’s class - "PFC Garfield Langhorn is a hero because he sacrificed his own life for other people's well being. He has inspired me to be a better person not to be so selfish and to remember what's really important and that is people. In a world of TVs, cell phones, schedules, computers, and email, we sometimes forget what is most important to us. . . "
Kamaria Harris - Mrs. Baumann’s class - "Although this may be a story of sadness, his memory will live on forever. His act of bravery and courage can teach us all a lesson about life. He was there to protect and serve his country; and that is what he did. . . This is a story that should inspire us all to always do our best in everything you do. Always be the best person you can be. Do all you can to help others and to be a good citizen . . ." >Entire Essay
Anthony Marin – Mrs. Harroun’s class - "As an 11 year old boy I can learn from this caring, brave man how to put others feelings before mine . . . For example, my friend was upset that he couldn't afford a new bike. I went outside and I gave him my favorite Mongoose bike. My friend rode home screaming, "Thank you." >Entire Essay
The three winners were presented with savings bonds by Garfield’s mother, Mary Langhorn. A luncheon at the Birchwood hosted by Mrs. Langhorn for the students, their parents and Principal David Densieski followed the assembly.
As Amanda Brown so eloquently stated, PFC Garfield Langhorn's heroic example can help this new "generation change the world . . . one step at a time".