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Jackson Heights serviceman who died in Iraq honored at PS 69, the school where he graduated

April 10, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan

A local school honored a Jackson Heights man who died in combat while serving in Iraq.

To commemorate the life of US Army Specialist Jonathan Rivadeneira who died in Iraq in 2007, Councilman Danny Dromm, Rivadeneira’s mother, and members of the PS 69 school community gathered on Friday to dedicate a plaque to his memory.

Principal Martha Vazquez honored Rivadeneira, who was a graduate of PS 69, with a plaque near the school’s “peace pole,” a monument to peace outside the school. The plaque was donated by the Jackson Heights Beautification Group.

To additionally honor his memory, the school will hang a portrait of Rivadeneira inside PS 69. Rivadeneira was assigned to the 6th Squadron, 9th U.S. Cavalry, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, and died from wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat on September 14, 2007.

“I was humbled to join my neighbors and the Rivadeneira family in honoring the memory of US Army Specialist Jonathan Rivadeneira ” Dromm said. “Specialist Rivadeneira sacrificed his life in service to this country.  We in Jackson Heights are grateful for all that he did to keep us safe.  He will forever be remembered for his heroism.”

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