Rich Acritelli ’00, ’03 has had a love of history from a young age and got his bachelor’s degree in history. After serving nine years in the Army Reserves and Air National Guard, he followed his dream of becoming a history teacher.
As a high school history teacher in Rocky Point, New York, and an adjunct history professor at Suffolk County Community College, Acritelli wanted to give back even more by telling the stories of Long Island veterans to a larger audience. He found the perfect spot in the restored Rocky Point train station across from VFW Post 6249.
The Post 6249 Rocky Point Veterans of Foreign Wars World War II and Military History Museum is set to open on December 7, 2023, which is the 82nd anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. The museum, which is free to visit, will feature artifacts from veterans across Long Island, special exhibits, school programs and guest lectures.
Acritelli also led the construction of a 9/11 memorial in nearby Coram, New York, in 2011 that commemorates rescue workers, War on Terror veterans and the graduates and residents of the towns of Brookhaven and Riverhead whose lives were lost.
Read the complete interview with Acritelli about the museum and his service in SB Matters.