The Rocky Point Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6249 is unveiling a significant project: a museum to honor and preserve the narratives of Long Island’s veterans. Joe Cognitore, the commander of Post 6249, shed light on this initiative when he addressed the Rocky Point Rotary Club at Spiro's Restaurant on September 12, 2023.
The museum, set to open its doors on December 7th, Pearl Harbor Day, will occupy the former Rocky Point train station, a stone's throw from the post’s main office. Joe highlighted that this museum not only pays tribute to the bravery of veterans but also represents a continuation of the VFW's dedicated community programs.
The post had long harbored dreams of establishing a veterans museum in Rocky Point. Though they initially considered a local drugstore, fate led them to the former train station, which they acquired thanks to a neighboring developer's generous gesture.
Rich Acritelli, in charge of the museum's historical research, will serve as its curator. He emphasized its expansive scope, saying, “It’s not just Rocky Point... It can be East Hampton, Huntington, Wyandanch.”
Visitors can anticipate a rich tapestry of history inside. They'll encounter military gear, uniforms, collectibles, books, and rotating exhibits. Frank Lombardi, a member of the museum committee, envisions an immersive experience where veterans' real-life accounts offer a factual counter to war movies' fictional portrayals.
For these organizers, all veterans themselves, this museum extends their service's legacy. Lombardi views it as a tribute to the community, emphasizing the importance of recognizing local heroes' sacrifices.
The team eagerly awaits community assistance ahead of the December debut. Joe Cognitore encourages residents to contribute, whether with memorabilia or tales, ensuring that the museum becomes a true community asset.