July 21, 2022
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Signs Legislative Package Dedicating Portions of New York State Highway System to Veterans and First Responders

Governor Hochul Signs Legislative Package Dedicating Portions of New York State Highway System to Veterans and First Responders

Legislation (S.8581A/A.8369A) Designates a Portion of the State Highway System in Oneida County as the "Oneida County Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway"

Legislation (S.7255A/A.1393B) Designates a Portion of the State Highway System in Ulster County as "Chief John 'Jody' Rossitz Memorial Bridge"

Legislation (S.7297/ A.9906) Designates a Portion of the State Highway System as the "Medal of Honor Recipient Francis S. Currey Memorial Highway"

Legislation (S.7504A/A.8445A) Designates a Portion of the State Highway System in the County of Clinton as the "Trooper Brian S. Falb Memorial Bridge"

Legislation (S.7224A/A.8455A) Designates a Portion of the State Highway System in the Town of Putnam Valley Over the Taconic Parkway as the "Putnam Valley First Responders Bridge"

Legislation (S.8056/A.8534) Designates a Portion of the State Highway System in the Village of Spencerport, Town of Ogden, County of Monroe, as the "Firefighter Robert Fowler Memorial Highway"

Governor Kathy Hochul today signed a legislative package dedicating portions of the New York State highway system to veterans and first responders.

"Our veterans and first responders have always stood up for us and answered the call to protect and serve New Yorkers, and we will continue to stand by them," Governor Hochul said. "I am proud to sign this package of legislation that recognizes and honors the contributions and sacrifice of New York's veterans and first responders, and will help ensure that their legacies live on for generations."

Legislation (S.8581A/A.8369A) designates a portion of State Route 365 in Oneida County as the "Oneida County Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway." This designation will honor the 37,000 U.S. servicemen who were killed or missing after the Korean War. Suggested by a veteran from Oneida County, this bill will raise awareness of the Korean War, which has become known as the "Forgotten War" due to its events transpiring in 1950, between World War II and the Vietnam War.

State Senator Joseph A. Griffo said, ""I am pleased that the governor has signed into law legislation that I sponsored designating a portion of State Route 365 in Rome as 'Oneida County Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway.' We must never forget the men and women who served in the Korean War. This special designation allows us to acknowledge and remember the sacrifices made by all those who participated in this devastating conflict and to express our sincere gratitude for their service to our nation."

Assemblymember Marianne Buttenschon said, ""The Korean War is sometimes defined as the forgotten war. This piece of legislation was brought forward by veterans who never forgot. I was honored to sponsor this legislation and appreciate the Governor signing it so quickly to honor our Oneida County Korean War Veterans. God bless all Veterans."

Legislation (S.7255A/A.1393B) designates the bridge on State Route 28 over the

Esopus Creek in the town of Shandaken as the "Chief John 'Jody' Rossitz Memorial Bridge." This bill will commemorate the life of John Rossitz of Oliverea Valley. He served 34 years as a volunteer firefighter and as Chief of the Big Indian-Oliverea Fire Department. In 2011, he was instrumental in organizing relief efforts for the Oliverea Valley community after Hurricane Irene. Through this bill, he will be honored for the work he did for the community.

State Senator Peter Oberacker said, "Our first responders contribute so much to our communities and John 'Jody' Rossitz was the embodiment of the spirit and dedication that runs through all of our volunteers. It is my humble honor to help keep Chief Rossitz's memory alive and ensure that others know what he meant to his community and his fellow volunteer firefighters and first responders."

Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill said, "Jody Rossitz was the definition of community leader. He brought his expertise to his volunteer rescue services and his volunteer rescue skills to his job. By signing the law naming this important bridge in his honor, Governor Kathy Hochul joins grateful friends, neighbors and coworkers who got to know this loved and admired model citizen."

Legislation (S.7297/ A.9906) designates state Route 32 between its intersection with Bender Lanbe, and its intersection with Elsmere Avenue in the Town of Bethlehem, County of Albany as the "Medal of Honor Recipient Francis S. Currey Memorial Highway." This designation honors the life of Francis S. Currey, whose valor in World War II earned him the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor, the Belgian Order of Leopold, a Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. Just a week after graduating from high school, he was assigned as a Sargeant to defend the small Belgian town of Malmedy with minimal supplies. After the war, he served as a Charter Member of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, and worked as a counselor at the Stratton VA Medical Center in Albany for 30 years. This bill was introduced at the request of Francis Currey's family and the American Legion Post 1040 in Delmar, to honor his contribution to history and his community.

State Senator Neil D. Breslin said, "Thank you Governor Hochul for signing this legislation, honoring a hometown hero. Francis S. Currey fought valiantly in World War II, and for his valor, he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Our Nation's veterans deserve to be commended by the people of New York State for their service, and this token of our appreciation will live on forever."

Assemblymember Patricia Fahy said, "Francis Currey is an all-American hero who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for saving the lives of his fellow countrymen and single-handedly stopping an enemy advance," said Assemblymember Patricia Fahy. "In honor of the heroism Francis Currey displayed and life he lived, I am proud that his legacy will live on in Albany County in the form of the Medal of Honor Recipient Francis S. Currey Memorial Highway."

Legislation (S.7504A/A.8445A) renames the bridges in the Town of Plattsburgh on Interstate 87 as the "Trooper Brian S. Falb Memorial Bridge," in honor of State Trooper Brian S. Falb. Initially called the Twin Bridges, the designation will honor Brian S. Falb's contribution, who served as New York State Trooper and aided in search and recovery efforts following the attacks on September 11th, 2001.

State Senator Dan Stec said, "The late Trooper Falb deserves the highest honor for his sacrifice in one of New York's most difficult times. By commemorating this bridge in his name, everyone who crosses over it will be able to pay tribute to his profound service to our great state. I thank Governor Hochul for signing this bill into law and paying respect to this hero and his family."

Assemblymember Billy Jones said, "Trooper Falb was a true American hero and the least the State could do was rename the bridges over the Saranac River on Interstate 87 in his honor. Nothing can truly express the North Country's gratitude to Falb for giving the ultimate sacrifice when our country was under attack but renaming the bridges will ensure that his memory and legacy will be preserved for generations to come. Now all travelers on the Northway will see Trooper Falb's name on these bridges and will be inspired by his patriotism and dedication to his communities

Legislation (S.7224A/A.8455A) designates the bridge across the Taconic State Parkway in the town of Putnam Valley as the "Putnam Valley First Responders Bridge." This designation will honor the first responders that put their lives on the line every day to keep Putnam Valley residents safe.

State Senator Sue Serino said, "Putnam Valley's first responders go above and beyond for our community, and it was thanks in large part to their push for change that the long-awaited Pudding Street Overpass ultimately became a reality. To have the opportunity to name this bridge in their honor is a meaningful moment not only for me, but for every resident who worked tirelessly to get this project over the finish line. It is one small way we can thank them for their selfless service, and remind them that they always have a grateful community behind them, and I thank all of our local partners, and those at the State Department of Transportation, for never giving up on this critical project."

Assemblymember Kevin Byrne said, "The completion of the Pudding Street Overpass was a tremendous accomplishment that I and many other officials long advocated for alongside members of the community, including our brave first responders. The previous intersection at Pudding Street and the Taconic State Parkway created all sorts of dangerous safety hazards for motorists, school bus children, and first responders. Our police, firefighters, and emergency medical service providers in Putnam Valley perform vital services that the community depends on. It's fitting to honor them with this dedication. I thank Senator Sue Serino, Putnam Valley Town Supervisor Annabi, and Governor Hochul for their assistance in making this project and dedication a reality."

Legislation (S.8056/A.8534) designates State Route 259 between Lyell Avenue and State Route 31 in the village of Spencerport as the "Firefighter Robert Fowler Memorial Highway." This designation will honor Robert "Bob" Fowler of the Spencerport Volunteer Fire Department for his contributions to society since joining the department in 1974, serving as a keystone of the community through his family support.

State Senator Robert G. Ortt said, "The renaming of a portion of State Route 259 in the Village of Spencerport to the 'Firefighter Robert Fowler Memorial Highway' is just one way we can help remind residents of the sacrifices our emergency responders make while serving our communities. The heroism and bravery our first responders display on a daily basis is something we should never take for granted. Although Firefighter Fowler may have given his life in service to our Spencerport community that evening in February, the memory of him and his dedication to protecting us will continue to live on for years to come."

Assemblymember Josh Jensen said, "Today is a special day for the Fowler family, the Spencerport Fire Department, and residents of Spencerport and Ogden, as they can continue to honor the legacy of Firefighter Robert "Bob" Fowler while driving through the village each day. Bob selflessly put others before himself day in and day out, and it is such an honor to be able to memorialize his legacy," said Assemblyman Josh Jensen. "We are so thankful to him and his loved ones for their dedicated service to keeping our neighbors safe. It's a privilege to be able to show this a small token of appreciation for our local hero, Firefighter Robert Fowler."

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