Locust Valley Students and staff on their trip to Normandy (Photos from Locust Valley High School)

High Schoolers Visit Normandy For D-Day Commemoration

Locust Valley High School students and faculty visited Normany, France to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. The group joined World War II veterans for the memorial.

In attendance were seniors Matthew Borruso, Sonny Consolazio, Michael DiLorenzo, Riley Haas, Spiro Lampoutis and Kelsey Neves. The students had previously submitted essays and poems as part of a contest, which asked students to demonstrate the sacrifices made by soldiers on June 6, 1944.

Joining them were chaperons Daniel Durante, Principal Patrick DiClemente, Superintendent Kristen Turnow, Board of Education President Margaret Marchand and Vice President Lauren Themis.

School administrators in Sainte-Mere-Eglise, which Locust Valley helped to rebuild after World War II.

The Locust Valley representatives spent a week in France. They visited historic sites, like the Patton House, and spoke to veterans.

“You can sit in your classroom all day and read every textbook there is and watch every movie or documentary, but nothing compares to being on those beaches and meeting those heroes first hand,” Consolazio said.

“I think what was most impactful for me was the blend of past and present,” Neves said. “Seeing active servicemembers walk through the visitors center at Pointe du Hoc and take off their hats for those that came before them was so memorable.”

Saverio Consolazio with retired United States Army General and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley

In Sainte-Mere-Eglise, there is a lot of patriotism for the United States, and many celebrate the occasion by putting out American flags and donning American military apparel.

“It’s something I’ve never even seen in my own country,” DiLorenzo said. “It was unbelievable to see [the people of Sainte-Mere-Eglise] be so patriotic for my country.”

The trip aims to continue Locust Valley High School’s mission to highlight American history in its curriculum. This past fall semester, the school hosted a Remembrance Project with the Patton Legacy Sports and partnered with a local organization, Operation Democracy, to teach a unit dedicated to D-Day in history classes.

Locust Valley played a role in the second World War when they sent money and aid to Sainte-Mere-Eglise to help rebuild damages.

“It was important for me as the instructional leader of the district and our board that we got to see out students develop an even better appreciation for the battle that was fought there and the restoration of our sister city that we had a hand in,” Dr. Turnow said. “It’s our history and I think it was important for them to see how one community could come together for a selfless cause and help another one rebuild.”

Senior Matthew Borruso and teacher Daniel Durante with World War II veteran Dave Yoho on Omaha Beach

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