Kings Park parents of an American soldier hope to work with Smithtown town officials to create a permanent memorial to honor their late son, after a makeshift shrine has gone missing.
Rose Marie Byrne and her husband, Oliver, were able retrieve a picture of their son, Seamus, dressed in his U. S. Army fatigues from the Village of the Branch's Town Hall on Thursday afternoon.
"We got a photo back of him in his military uniform," Rose said. "Unfortunately, we have no idea where the rest of the stuff is."
The Kings Park mother made a tearful plea to the public at Oct. 8 town board meeting, asking for help finding Seamus' military caps that were once tacked to the Village of the Branch sign on Smithtown's Main Street and Lawrence Avenue intersection. The makeshift memorial went missing in August.
After Tuesday's town board meeting, Rose said she found out Village of the Branch did have one of her son's possessions - the photo.
"What we retrieved was given to them this morning. Apparently all that was there was the photo and inscription, other items are unaccounted for " said Village of the Branch Mayor Tom Keon.
Keon said the Village of the Branch sign was significantly damaged during Hurricane Sandy, and was recently replaced by the village. When the sign was replaced, the photo was carefully removed by village workers.
Rose said her family is still hoping to get information leading to the return of Seamus' military caps, a green beret and the U.S. Army cap he wore while receiving his Purple Heart.
The Byrne family is hoping to put up a new memorial for Seamus by working with members of Smithtown Town Board.
"We’re thinking about it, we just don’t know at this point how to go about it. We are going to try to work with the Smithtown Town Council to see if we can get a permanent memorial," Rose said. "My son should have something in his hometown."