Albany, NY (July 3, 2014)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to rename portions of the state highway system and bridges in honor of veterans groups and service members who died while protecting their country. Portions of state roads in Allegany, Erie, Nassau, Niagara, and Ulster Counties have now received new names. In addition, bridges in Putnam and Suffolk Counties have been renamed.
“The men and women of our armed forces put everything on the line in order to protect our state and nation, and by renaming these bridges and roads we can continue to honor their legacy,” Governor Cuomo said. “I am proud to sign these bills into law, and I offer my utmost gratitude to the members of the military for their service.”
Twin Cities Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway: A portion of State Route 425 in Erie and Niagara Counties will be renamed “Twin Cities Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway.” This stretch of highway was originally designated as the “Twin Cities Memorial Highway” to honor those killed in the Vietnam War. This bill would change the name to fulfill the original intent.
Senator George Maziarz said, “Designating the Twin Cities highway as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway will build upon local efforts over the years to honor local soldiers in North Tonawanda and Tonawanda who served in Vietnam, particularly those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Too often Vietnam Era veterans do not get enough recognition for what they did. This designation seeks to make sure these individuals get the respect and thanks they deserve.”
“I am very pleased that the Governor has signed this important legislation that I initiated into law,” said Assemblyman Schimminger, D-C-I Kenmore and author of the bill. “The Twin Cities Memorial Highway was always meant to honor the war dead from the Tonawandas who served during the Vietnam War, but when the original legislation was enacted into law in 1970, the words Vietnam Veterans were intentionally left off the name because of the nature of the times. Now, during the 50th Anniversary since the Vietnam War, it is time we get it right and re-dedicate the arterial highway as the Twin Cities Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway.”
Youngstown Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Highway: A section of State Route 93 in the Village of Youngstown, in the Town of Porter, Niagara County will be called “Youngstown Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Highway.”
Senator George Maziarz said, “It has been my honor and privilege to work with VFW Post 313 in Youngstown to come up with a way to honor all those local soldiers who have served our country in overseas conflicts. With this special designation, they will always be remembered and appreciated.”
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said, “As we prepare to celebrate our Independence Day this week, we are reminded of the sacrifice our veterans have made at home and abroad to ensure our continued freedom. The designation being created today will be a long-lasting tribute to the many veterans who call Western New York home.”
Wyoming County Veterans Memorial Highway: The current Wyoming County Veterans Memorial Highway on U.S. Route 20A will be extended to include a larger stretch of that road.
“This is a fitting tribute to all of the Wyoming County residents who have served in the Armed Forces, both at home and abroad. This highway will forever serve as a reminder of the dedication of these men and women and is an expression of our gratitude for their service,” said Senator Patrick M. Gallivan.
“As we approach the Fourth of July, and we focus on all of the sacrifices our brave military men and women have endured to ensure the freedoms and liberties we hold dear, I’m proud to have carried this legislation,” Assemblyman David DiPietro said. “Our veterans deserve all the praise and honor we can give them. The Wyoming County Veterans Memorial Highway will serve as a constant reminder of the sacrifices of those who served this country.”
Sergeant Omar G. Blowers Memorial Highway: The section of State Route 70 lying within Allegany County will be called “Sergeant Omar G. Blowers Memorial Highway.” Sgt. Blowers, from Swain NY, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was taken prisoner while fighting Chinese military forces. He died after 107 days in captivity at the age of 19.
“Sergeant Omar G. Blowers gave his life in heroic sacrifice while honorably serving and defending our country. After being taken prisoner in the Korean War, he lost his life in captivity and never made it back home. With this memorial highway, Sergeant Blowers will never be forgotten and from now on all who travel through his hometown of Swain will be reminded of what he did for us,” said Senator Catharine Young (R,I,C-Olean).
Assemblyman Joseph M. Giglio said, "I'm pleased that the "Sergeant Omar G. Blowers Memorial Highway" has become a reality. Sgt. Blowers' selfless service and his ultimate sacrifice deserve to be honored and memorialized. It is fitting that his service to our Country will be forever remembered by the naming of a busy State highway that passes directly through his hometown of Swain, NY in the Town of Grove. I was honored to sponsor this legislation in the State Assembly, and I'm pleased that the Governor has signed it into law."
Sergeant Shawn Michael Farrell II Memorial Highway: A section of State Route 44/55 in Ulster County will be renamed “Sergeant Shawn Michael Farrell II Memorial Highway.” Sgt. Farrell, from the Hudson Valley, was killed when his unit came under fire while on a mission in the Kapisa province of Afghanistan on April 28, 2014.
Senator James L. Seward said, “Every man and woman who dons a United States military uniform sacrifices for our nation and our way of life. Sergeant Shawn Michael Farrell II made the ultimate sacrifice and we owe it to him and his family to keep his memory alive. I appreciate Governor Cuomo joining in swiftly signing this legislation to honor Sergeant Farrell’s bravery, courage, and unwavering allegiance to his country and his fellow soldiers.”
“This soldier leaves behind a legacy of patriotic and dedicated service, as well as a family and community who miss him dearly. It is my hope that the renaming of this highway pays some tribute to the sacrifices Shawn made for his country and serves as a way for family, friends and others to remember, in perpetuity, his life,” said Assemblyman Kevin Cahill.
Disabled American Veterans Memorial Bridge: In Putnam County, the bridge on Bryant Pond Road that crosses the Taconic State Parkway will be known as “Disabled American Veterans Memorial Bridge.”
“The men and women returning home from service to our country with injuries incurred in the line of duty are so worthy of this dedication,” said Senator Ball, Chairman of the Senate Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs Committee. “Thanks to the Governor's support, the Taconic State Parkway bridge at Bryant Pond Road will serve as a constant reminder that freedom is not free, it is paid for by the blood, sweat and tears of our service men and women.”
Assemblywoman Sandy Galef said, “I am thrilled that we are renaming this local bridge in honor our Disabled American Veterans who have served our country with distinction. This bridge, which runs across the Taconic State Parkway, will serve as a reminder to all who travel under it of the sacrifice so many of our veterans and their families have made to protect our country and our freedom. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing this legislation.”
Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph Daly Memorial Highway: A portion of State Route 107 in the City of Glen Cove in Nassau County will be called “Sergeant Major Daniel Joseph Daly Memorial Highway.” Sgt. Maj. Daly, a native of Glen Cove, served in the U.S. Marine Corps and was awarded the Medal of Honor on two occasions. First in 1900 for single-handedly defending a position during the Boxer Rebellion and secondly, in 1915 for exceptional bravery during a peacekeeping mission in Haiti.
“Sergeant Major Daniel "Dan" Joseph Daly was once acclaimed by the former Commandant of the Marine Corps, as "the outstanding Marine of all time.” Fearless, tough, and well respected he exemplifies what it means to be a Marine. He is one of a very few individuals who have earned our Nation's highest military honors not once, but twice. Sergeant Major Daly was awarded the Medal of Honor along with the Navy Cross, and the Distinguished Service Cross. As we celebrate our Nation’s Independence Day, I thank Governor Cuomo for recognizing and celebrating this American hero,” said Senator Carl L. Marcellino
“While many years have passed without formal recognition of the brave acts of this fine Marine, it is never too late to acknowledge heroic acts. I am proud to sponsor this bill and to ensure that Sgt. Daly receives the honor to which he is entitled,” said Assemblyman Lavine. “History reflects that Sgt. Major Daly was recognized not once but twice for separate acts of heroism; a significant achievement by any standards. Renaming this portion of the road in recognition of his bravery will be a permanent memorial and reminder of his accomplishments.”
Sgt. Michael J. Esposito Jr. Memorial Bridge: The bridge on Washington Avenue that crosses I-495 in Suffolk County will be designated as the “Sgt. Michael J. Esposito Jr. Memorial Bridge.” Sgt. Esposito, a native of Brentwood, was mortally wounded while clearing an anti-coalition force compound in the village of Miam Do in Afghanistan on March 18, 2004.
“Sgt. Michael Esposito Jr., selflessly sacrificed his life in Afghanistan while proudly serving our nation in uniform,” said Senator Lee Zeldin. “Naming this bridge in his honor will not only keep his legacy of courage and dedication alive, but will serve as a constant reminder of the sacrifices made by our servicemen and women, who fight each and every day to protect our freedoms and liberties.”
“I am humbled to honor Sgt. Michael J. Esposito Jr. by renaming the Washington Avenue Bridge over the LIE in Brentwood in his memory. Sgt. Esposito was truly one of Brentwood’s local heroes, having re-enlisted in the Army after the events of 9/11 to defend the freedoms we hold dearly as Americans. Tragically, he lost his life in the line of fire on March, 18th 2004. His heroism, bravery and selfless dedication to duty represents the valor that is the American soldier,” said Assemblyman Phil Ramos.