Touching tribute: Islanders honor Farmingdale marching band at UBS Arena


UBS Arena, typically a sea of orange and blue, took on a different hue on Tuesday.

A section of the crowd was decked out in green.

That’s because the Islanders, just before their game against Arizona, paid tribute to Farmingdale High School members affected by a tragic bus accident in upstate New York last month. They honored 466 guests, including the families of Gina Pellettiere and Beatrice Ferrari, who tragically lost their lives in the crash.

Joe Pantorno, a Farmingdale alumnus and amNewYork reporter covering the Islanders, captured the touching moment on video:

The Islanders clinched their second win of the season that night, making it 2-0 in the young NHL season with a 1-0 victory.

Farmingdale Superintendent Paul Defendini spoke to Newsday, emphasizing the importance of such moments for the community, saying, “It really is a wonderful reprieve from a lot of the struggles that our kids have and are still continuing to have. These little moments mean a lot.”

It’s only been four weeks since a bus carrying Farmingdale High School marching band members overturned on I-84 en route to their annual band camp in Greeley, Pennsylvania. As Defendini noted, it’s a much-needed distraction for the kids who’ve endured so much in the past month.

The Islanders join the Mets, who honored the loss of Pellettiere and Ferrari with a moment of silence on Sept. 27. During his press conference two days later, Jets coach Robert Saleh wore a Farmingdale High School shirt, offering his condolences to the victims.

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