Pulaski Celebrates Riverhead Hero PFC Garfield M. Langhorn
Annual Essay Contest Inspires School and Community
RIVERHEAD, NEW YORK (NOVEMBER 2022) — Pulaski Street Intermediate School recently held its annual Garfield Langhorn essay contest ceremony. Out of over 400 entered essays, four were selected as the winners and read at the ceremony.
“Every year our essay contest teaches students about the courageous Vietnam War hero PFC Garfield M. Langhorn from Riverhead,” said Pulaski Street Intermediate School Principal Patrick Burke. “It is important for kids to recognize our local heroes and try to emulate the excellent example that Langhorn set for his platoon and Americans across the nation.”
PFC Garfield M. Langhorn was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor in April 1970 after throwing himself on a live grenade to save the lives of his wounded comrades. He is Riverhead’s only Congressional Medal of Honor recipient.
The essay contest asks sixth graders what being a hero means to them, how Langhorn’s model behavior encourages them and how they can be a hero in their own community. The inaugural contest in 2004 had 34 entrants, but the event has grown massively over the years and truly inspires the students of Pulaski Street Intermediate School and their community, with over 400 essays submitted this year. The 2022 winners are Adelaide Boese, Mckayla Bozza, Keion Edwards and Rachel Zheng.
The winners recited their essays at the ceremony, expressing the ways they intend to help their community and follow the heroic example of Langhorn. The event also had appearances by Town of Riverhead Supervisor Yvette Aguiar, President of the Vietnam Veterans of America Long Island Chapter Rich Kitson, Vice President of the Vietnam Veterans of America Long Island Chapter Clarence Simpson, the Patriot Guard Riders and Ms. Joan Brown-Smith, who was Garfield Langhorn’s fiancé.
“Pulaski pride was overflowing at the ceremony,” said Pulaski Street Intermediate School Assistant Principal Callan Lonergan. “Garfield Langhorn inspires us all to be the best we can be for our school, district and community.”