Written by Dr. Charles Murphy Friday, 17 September 2010 00:00
Dear Island Trees School Community,
The Island Trees community in Levittown has a long, proud and storied tradition of military service. Traveling through the neighborhoods, our country’s red, white and blue colors are proudly displayed. Our parks, streets and schools have many monuments and memorials to our servicemen who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. In 1972, 20-year-old Island Trees graduate, William “Billy” Henaghan, died in a helicopter crash in Vietnam. Billy who played football and wrestled for Island Trees High School is remembered by Island Trees teacher Bob Amato for his leadership qualities, athletic ability and devotion to his family, friends and country. Bob recalls, “Billy had the opportunity to be an outstanding collegiate wrestler, but instead devotedly chose to serve his country.” A year later, the Island Trees School District honored his sacrifice by dedicating the high school athletic field in his honor. The inscription on the plaque reads, “This field named in memory of William Henaghan who through desire, devotion and self discipline dedicated his mind, body and soul to touch the highest goals in athletics and as a human being.”
Thirty-seven years later, Island Trees has a new athletic field and we have not forgotten about Billy. Proudly, the school district and the football alumni association plan to rededicate the refurbished turf field in honor of William Henaghan on Homecoming Weekend – Saturday, Oct. 2 at 11 a.m. Few towns are known more for honoring America’s service men and women than Levittown. We hope the entire community can join us at Island Trees High School for the rededication ceremony to remind us all of not only Billy Henaghan’s sacrifice, but of the 33 other Island Trees residents who bravely gave their lives for our country.
William Henaghan’s achievements at Island Trees High School include: Island Trees High School Diploma 1970, Nassau County Wrestling Champion 1969-70, New York State Wrestling Championship Runner-Up 1968-69, and All Conference Football 1969-70. Henaghan’s U.S. Military achievements include: Bronze Star, Purple Heart, and Airman’s Medal.