Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced he signed a measure to designate a portion of State Route 434 in Binghamton after Civil War-era hero who called the region home.
The bill (A.9233A / S.7066) designates a portion of State Route 434 between Pennsylvania Avenue and South Washington Street in the city of Binghamton as the Col. David Ireland Memorial Highway.
"Colonel David Ireland exemplified the best of New York, defending our union at a time when division threatened to tear it apart," Governor Cuomo said. "This designation will honor Colonel Ireland's commitment and service to our nation and memorialize the inspiring bravery demonstrated by him and the 137th division."
Colonel David Ireland was born in Scotland in 1832 and immigrated to New York in 1840. In 1863, Col. Ireland and the 137th New York Infantry division preserved the Union’s hold on Culp's Hill, greatly contributing to the Union’s victory in the Battle of Gettysburg.
In the year before Colonel Ireland's death, the 137th division went on to fight courageously in several other battles. The 137th Division was memorialized with monuments at Gettysburg and throughout the South, but not in their 'hometown' where they trained. Thus, the location of the memorial highway memorializes that location and honors their service.
Senator Fred Akshar said, "We are a community and a nation that remembers our heroes and that celebrates the honor, perseverance and excellence they stood for. Col. Ireland was a remarkable leader and a dedicated soldier with close ties to our region. As a representative of this community, it’s my distinct honor to help celebrate heroes like Col. David Ireland and to do what I can to make sure the principles, and good that he fought for endure and go on to inspire generations to come."
Assemblywoman Donna A. Lupardo said, "Col. Ireland and the 137th NY Volunteers fought heroically to preserve victory at the Battle of Gettysburg. The story of their exploits was nearly lost after Col. Ireland died in Atlanta in 1864. 150 years later, the regiment is finally getting the recognition they deserve. This highway is near the area where the men trained, and its renaming helps preserve this important piece of our local history."
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