Honoring Conspicuous Service
In early 2018 it was determined that of the 179 warriors (at the time), only 13 had received the New York State Conspicuous Service Cross (CSC); 2 from World War II and 11 from Vietnam. Why only 13? No doubt, the emergent need to return to peacetime as well as challenges in the wartime management of information were among the factors contributing to this unintended oversight.
In April 2018, a discussion with NYS Department of Military and Naval Affairs and Sen. Tim Kennedy’s Office (Ms. Jessica LaFalce, Director of Community Affairs) identified a path for submission and review of South Park fallen warriors for consideration. By December, 123 applications had been submitted and approved. An event was held on May 23, 2019 at South Park to honor the families and next of kin of 35 our fallen classmates; from WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The remaining medals were received by members of the South Park JROTC and are planned for display at the school. The event was attended by several hundred people from the community and was followed up by a reception in the Library. The process continued after May 23, 2019 and an additional 8 CSC's were obtained.
During this aspect of the project, query of the NYS DMNA Military Museum (https://dmna.ny.gov/historic) found that nearly all of our fallen warriors were NOT present in their state-wide, searchable data base. As of January 4, 2021, in coordination with the DMNA Museum librarian/archivist, all 206 names of the South Park High School fallen warriors have been included in the State-wide database as a permanent testament of their service to America, our state and our city.