Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today signed legislation to designate portions of State Route 120 in Westchester County after two service members who were killed while fighting overseas.
The legislation designates a portion of Route 120 in Harrison as the Specialist Anthony N. Kalladeen Memorial Highway and designates the Route 120 Bridge which crosses the Saw Mill River Parkway in the Town of New Castle as the Staff Sergeant Kyu Hyuk Chay Memorial Bridge.
"As New Yorkers come together to celebrate our country's birthday, we must pause to honor the countless American heroes who paid the ultimate sacrifice so we could live free today," Governor Cuomo said. "Both Specialist Kalladeen and Staff Sergeant Chay will have the lasting memorials they deserve in Westchester County with this renamed highway and bridge. I thank the bill sponsors for their efforts to pay tribute to the sacrifice these courageous men made for the people of our state and nation."
Specialist Anthony N. Kalladeen was from the Hamlet of Purchase in the Town of Harrison. On August 8, 2005, while deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom assigned to the 1st Battalion, 69th Infantry Regiment, 256th Brigade Combat Team, New York Army National Guard, he was killed when his vehicle was ambushed. He was 26 and on his second tour. A former Marine, Kalladeen was attending SUNY Purchase in his hometown before he was deployed to Iraq. SUNY Purchase has dedicated a space on a residence hall as "Kalladeen's Corner." The portion of State Route 120 that will bear his name leads to the school's entrance at Anderson Hill Road.
Army Staff Sergeant Kyu Hyuk Chay was a linguist assigned to United States Special Forces Command. Born in South Korea, he grew up in Westchester after his family immigrated to the United States, and opened a popular local business near the train station in the Hamlet of Chappaqua. Staff Sergeant Chay was three credits shy of graduating with a law degree from Brooklyn Law School before he was killed in Afghanistan in 2006. The new Route 120 Bridge in Chappaqua overlooks his family business, as well as the war memorial at the Chappaqua Train station, where there is a plaque dedicated in Staff Sergeant Chay's honor.
Senator Suzi Oppenheimer said, "There is no way to adequately thank and honor Specialist Anthony N. Kalladeen and Staff Sergeant Kyu Hyuk Chay for their tremendous courage and sacrifice protecting our nation. What we can do is offer this tribute for their service to our country and ensure that their memory is kept alive for generations."
Assemblyman Robert J. Castelli said, "When our young servicemen and women make the supreme sacrifice on behalf of our nation, their actions should be remembered and honored forever. While nothing can replace this terrible loss, it is a small tribute but fitting tribute on behalf of a grateful community, and state, to permanently honor them in this way. I thank the Governor for his timely recognition of the sacrifice of these fine young servicemen, on the eve of our nations birthday."