AMVETS Post 1174 and the Holbrook Chamber of Commerce will dedicate the new sign at the Holbrook Vietnam Monument on Saturday, July 25, at 11 a.m. The community is welcome to attend the event.
The monument is located on Grundy Avenue next to “Holbrooks Backporch” bar at 1259 Grundy Avenue. It is between Terry Boulevard and Clarice Boulevard.
The monument is historic for both New York State and the United States. The Holbrook Vietnam Monument was the first one constructed in New York and the second one built in the United States to honor a member of the armed forces who was killed in action while serving in Vietnam.
Holbrook’s monument honors the memory of Specialist 4th Class Alexander Nicholas DiGuardia, the only military service personnel from Holbrook killed in action during the Vietnam War. DiGuardia turned 21 years old several weeks before he was killed.
As a sign at the site currently reads, “As a member of the U.S. Army’s 25th Infantry Division, he made the supreme sacrifice on October 26, 1967 while engaging enemy forces in Binh Duong, Republic of South Vietnam.”
The monument was constructed in 1971 by Alexander’s father, Louis, who was a decorated World War II veteran, his uncle Iggy DiGuardia, and Ralph DeLuca. The sign being replaced on Saturday had long incorrectly stated 1972 as the year of construction. The new sign will have 1971 listed as the correct year, according to Holbrook Chamber of Commerce President Rick Ammirati.
Ammirati said Suffolk County provided a grant to AMVETS for the new sign.