Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to rename portions of the state highway system and a bridge in honor of four service members killed in service to their country. Portions of state roads in Madison, Erie and Schuyler Counties and a bridge in Chautauqua County are to be renamed.
"As Independence Day draws near, it is important for us to reflect on the service and sacrifice made by the men and women of the United States Armed Forces to preserve and protect the freedoms we hold so dear," Governor Cuomo said. "These four young men believed firmly in our countrys ideals, and put their lives on the line to defend those principles overseas. This bridge and these newly renamed roads will honor these brave young men, and ensure that their sacrifice is always remembered. I thank the bill sponsors for their efforts, and express my deepest sympathies and gratitude to the families for their loss.
Lance Corporal Jeremy Lasher Memorial Highway in Madison County
In Oneida, Madison County, a portion of State Route 365A from its intersection with State Route 5 to its intersection with State Route 365 will be renamed the LCpl. Jeremy Lasher Memorial Highway. Lance Corporal Jeremy Lasher, born in Hamilton, New York was a graduate of Oneida High School in 2000, and a member of the Verona Fire Department before enlisting in the Marines in October of 2006. He served his country proudly and honorably in Iraq and Afghanistan before being killed on July 23rd, 2009, when the vehicle he was driving struck an Improvised Explosive Device in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
Senator David J. Valesky, said, Lance Corporal Jeremy Lasher gave his life in service to his country, and this law is one small way we can honor his life. Every time I drive down that highway, I will remember his courage and sacrifice on behalf of this nation."
Assemblyman Bill Magee, said, "I applaud the Governor for recognizing this important and sentimental legislation honoring LCpl. Jeremy S. Lasher who was taken too soon in the Helmand province of Afghanistan while on a mission in 2009. This legislation would honor his memory and sacrifice by designating Route 365A in the City of Oneida in Madison County New York as the "Jeremy Lasher Memorial Highway."
Staff Sergeant William R. Wilson III Memorial Highway in Erie County
The portion of Interstate-990 in Erie County will be renamed the Staff Sergeant William R. Wilson III Memorial Highway. Staff Sergeant William R. Wilson III was from Getzville, Erie County, and graduated from Williamsville North High School in 2003. Staff Sergeant Wilson joined the Army in 2005, and served with distinction in both Iraq and Afghanistan. On March 26, 2012, he was killed in Paktika Province, Afghanistan while on his third combat tour. Sergeant Wilson had been training Afghan soldiers and police.
Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer, said, I commend the Governor for signing this legislation into law and I am honored to have sponsored it in the Senate. The Staff Sergeant William R. Wilson III Memorial Highway will celebrate Staff Sergeant Wilsons life and forever remind our community of his sacrifice. Staff Sergeant Wilsons exceptional service to our country should never be forgotten, and designating the I-990 in honor of him is a fitting expression of our gratitude and admiration. I especially want to share my appreciation with his parents, William and Kimberly, for sharing Billys story with me and the entire community.
Assemblyman Ray Walter, said, William distinguished himself among 600 hundred soldiers as one of two top squad leaders in his battalion and was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. This highway naming will serve as a lasting tribute to a young man who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. I am humbled to be the sponsor of this legislation and honor a true American hero.
Christopher J. Scott Memorial Highway in Schuyler County
The portion of State Route 14A in the Town of Reading, Schuyler County, and in the Town of Starkey and Village of Dundee, Yates County, will now be known as the Christopher J. Scott Memorial Highway. Army Spec. Scott was born in New Port Richey, FL, and raised in Dundee, NY. He graduated from Dundee Central School in 2009 with varsity letters in football, track, and cheerleading. He was deployed in July of 2011 to Kandahar Province, Afghanistan, where he was killed on September 3, 2011 by enemy fire while on patrol.
Senator Tom O'Mara, said, "We appreciate Governor Cuomos swift signing of this legislation into law. Its a timely and fitting tribute on this Independence Day to recall the life, service and ultimate sacrifice of one of our local heroes. The Christopher J. Scott Memorial Highway will forever honor Christophers memory and stand as a reminder of our gratitude and deep respect for his service to America."
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, said, "The designation of the Christopher J. Scott Memorial Highway offers another opportunity for the community to salute and to express our enduring respect for Christopher's courageous and brave service to our nation. Were grateful to Governor Cuomo for his immediate action on this meaningful tribute to coincide with this year's 4th of July observance."
John Stow Vietnam Veterans and MIA Memorial Bridge on State Route 394 in Chautauqua County
In the Town of North Harmony, the bridge across I-86 on State Route 394 will be named the John Stow Vietnam Veterans and MIA Memorial Bridge. Private First Class John Stow was born in in Asheville, NY, and served in the Marines during the Vietnam War. He was killed February 13, 1968 at the age of 18.
Senator Catharine M. Young, said, "Marine PFC John L. Stow was killed in action in the Vietnam War in 1968. PFC Stow embodies the type of heroic soldier who dedicated his life to the cause of freedom for our great nation, making the ultimate sacrifice. This bridge would memorialize PFC Stow, all soldiers who served in Vietnam, as well as all soldiers that have gone Missing in Action during their military service in our country. Many of our Vietnam Veterans were not given the recognition they deserved when they returned home and this is one way to help correct that injustice. This bill also recognizes all MIA's from every conflict so that their memories are not forgotten."
Assemblyman Andy Goodell, said, Private First Class John L. Stow, a native son of North Harmon, is by all definitions a true hero. Though his tour in Vietnam was short, at just 18 years old the dedication and sacrifice he showed on behalf of his fellow Marines embodies the type of heroics that we all should strive to emulate. Now, as we pass over the John Stow Vietnam Veterans and MIA Memorial Bridge, it will serve as a small token of thanks and an ever- present reminder of the cost it takes to keep us free.