Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation to commemorate the service of veterans across the state by renaming portions of the New York State highway system in their honor. Governor Hochul also signed two pieces of legislation that establish commemorative medals; one for the Iraq War and the other for the Afghanistan War.
“Our veterans served honorably, and these dedications and new commemorations will serve to solidify their legacies and ensure we always remember the sacrifices they made to protect our freedoms,” Governor Hochul said. “My hope is that New Yorkers ponder those sacrifices every time they cross one of these roadways so that these heroes may live on for years to come.”
Locally, S.6579A/A.6624A designates the portion of Route 219 crossing over Shero Road in the Town of Boston, Erie County, as the Specialist Gerald B. Penn Memorial Bridge. Specialist Penn served in the US Army during the Vietnam War and earned the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Star, and Vietnam Campaign Medal.
S.6580/A.6567 designates the bridge on Route 75 crossing over Eighteen Mile Creek in the Town of Eden, Erie County, as the Specialist Peter J. Loretto Jr. Memorial Bridge. Specialist Loretto served in the US Army during the Vietnam War and earned the National Defense Service Medal.
State Senator Patrick Gallivan said, “Specialist Penn and Specialist Loretto bravely served their country in Vietnam. Designating these highway bridges in their honor pays tribute to these decorated veterans and will help ensure their service and sacrifice is never forgotten.”
S.5394A/A.119A establishes the Iraq War Commemorative Medal for members of the armed forces serving abroad in the Iraq War from March 20, 2003 through December 31, 2021.
S.5372A/A.121A establishes the Afghanistan Iraq War Commemorative Medal for members of the armed forces serving in the Afghanistan War from October 7, 2001 through August 30, 2021.
Assemblymember William Magnarelli said, “Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans served with recognition and appreciation to those who served in these wars. All veterans deserve recognition for their service and sacrifice, as well as recognition.”