When Dennis John Wickes, Jr. saw his friend struggling off the Kings Park Bluff, he selflessly jumped into the dangerous waters to save a life. For those actions, the Centereach 11th grader was presented with the New York State Senate Liberty Medal by Senator John J. Flanagan (2nd Senate District). The honor was presented to Dennis in front of the entire 11th Grade class at a special assembly at the Centereach High School.
In July, Dennis was relaxing with two friends at the Kings Park Bluff when one of the boys decided to go swimming. When the boy was repeatedly pulled under the water by the treacherous current, Dennis did not hesitate to jump into the same waters to rescue his friend.
Dennis was able to get to his friend and help him to the safety of the shore. According to an off-duty firefighter who was on the scene, his heroic and selfless actions prevented his friend from drowning.
"When his friend struggled with the dangerous current, Dennis was quick to act, quick to respond and he clearly saved a life. His parents deserve to be proud of their son and I hope he is able to fully appreciate the heroism of his deeds," stated Senator Flanagan. "I present this honor to Dennis as a thank you for saving his friend's life and for setting a great example for all his peers."
Created in 2000, the New York State Senate Liberty Medal is one of the highest civilian honors that a New York resident can receive. The award is given to individuals who have merited special commendation for exceptional, heroic, or humanitarian acts and achievements on behalf of their fellow New Yorkers.
Senator Flanagan congratulates Centereach High School student Dennis John Wickes, Jr. for his heroic actions in July. The two are joined by the student's parents Dennis and Annemarie Wickes after a recent ceremony to honor the student for his life-saving actions.
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