Albany, NY (July 3, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to designate the Route I-86 Bridge crossing Route 305 in the Village of Cuba in Allegany County as the Sergeant Mark Bradley Memorial Bridge.
"As we gather to celebrate July 4th, it is important to honor the sacrifice and memory of our nation's patriotic heroes," Governor Cuomo said. "This newly renamed bridge will recognize Sergeant Bradley's allegiance and bravery in defending our country, and ensure that his memory is preserved forever. I commend the bill sponsors for putting forward this legislation to recognize the extraordinary price that Sergeant Bradley paid so we may live free."
Sergeant Mark Bradley enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in January of 2004 after graduating from Cuba-Rushford High School in 2003. Between 2004 and 2011, Sergeant Bradley deployed four times, including deployments in support of operation Iraqi Freedom as well as a humanitarian deployment to Haiti. On June 3, 2011 Sergeant Bradley was injured by an improvised exploding device while conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, sustaining serious injuries to his lower body and left arm. Sergeant Mark Bradley died on June 16, 2011 at the Bethesda Naval Hospital.
Sergeant Bradley's awards include three Marine Corps Good Conduct Medals, the National Defense Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and a Humanitarian Service Medal.
Senator Catherine Young said, "The Cuba community was deeply saddened by the loss of native son, Sgt. Mark Bradley after he was fatally wounded from an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan one year ago. So many of our best and brightest have been lost in Operation Enduring Freedom, and the community requested that Mark’s memory live on by christening the Interstate 86 bridge over Route 305 as a tribute to his heroism. The family is very touched and proud that Mark will be honored in such a significant and special way."
Assembly Member Joseph M. Giglio said, "Sgt. Mark Bradley made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our great nation. We can never do enough to honor the life of a young soldier like Sgt. Bradley. It is a proud moment for our community as we remember one of our hometown heroes by designating the I-86 Bridge crossing Route 305 in the Village of Cuba as the Sergeant Mark Bradley Memorial Bridge. It was an honor to have sponsored the legislation. It is my hope that we all remember the great sacrifice that Sgt. Mark Bradley made on our behalf."