New York – Legislation Dedicating Highways to Veterans

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

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

“We owe a great debt to New York’s veterans who have always stood up for us and answered the call to protect and serve,” Governor Hochul said.  “By signing this package of legislation, we recognize and honor the contributions and sacrifices of New York’s finest, and will help ensure that their legacies live on for generations.”

New York State Division of Veterans’ Services Director Viviana DeCohen said, “Governor Hochul’s signing of this package of legislation will help ensure the continued remembrance of New York’s Veterans.  Current and future generations will be reminded of the tremendous courage and sacrifice of those whose service has made it possible for us to enjoy our freedoms and uphold our most cherished values.”

Legislation (S.6562-A/A.7923-A) designates a portion of State Route 43 in Rensselaer County as the “Rensselaer County Purple Heart Highway.”  State Route 43 begins at the border of Massachusetts, just east of Stephentown, and ends at the intersection with 1-90 in North Greenbush.  Each of the towns that run along State Route 43 have adopted legislation designating the towns as Purple Heart towns.  Adopting this designation will further enhance these efforts to honor the service and sacrifice of New York’s Purple Heart veterans, including those who lost their lives in service to our state and nation.

State Senator Daphne Jordan said, “Recognizing the courageous American patriots who gave “all” for us and those who live with wounds on our behalf has been a priority of mine since joining the Senate in 2019.  All 60 municipalities and the 4 counties of the current 43rd Senate District are now Purple Heart towns, villages, cities and counties.  I am proud to continue the never-ending work of honoring our Purple Heart Veterans with my bill, S 6562, which will now designate State Route 43 from the Massachusetts border up to the intersection of Interstate 90 in North Greenbush as the “Rensselaer County Purple Heart Highway.”  I would like to thank my partner in the Assembly, Jake Ashby for sponsoring the companion legislation, and thank Governor Kathy Hochul for signing the bill into law.  Purple Heart designations publicly recognize the service and sacrifice of our incredible Purple Heart recipients and affirm a local community’s respect and recognition of these heroes.  We owe our Purple Heart Veterans a great debt and this is a small way we can show our gratitude for their sacrifice.”

Assembly member Jake Ashby said, “The long-standing sacrifices of those who were wounded while defending our great nation should never be forgotten or overlooked.  This legislation memorializes those awarded the Purple Heart and provides us all the opportunity to reflect upon their service and sacrifice.  I am grateful to Governor Hochul for signing this legislation.  Please join me in remembering them and their families each day.”

Legislation (S.6549-B/A.6378-C) designates the Portion of State Route 16 between the start of Route 400 and Emery Road in the Town of Holland, Erie County, as the “Petty Officer Robert Segool Memorial Highway”.  This will honor the memory of Petty Officer Robert Segool, decorated war hero and veteran of the Vietnam War.  He is the recipient of the Honorable Discharge Button, Navy Rifle Expert, Vietnam Service Medal With One Silver Service Star, National Defense Service Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Unit Commendation With One Bronze Service Star, Combat Action Ribbon, Purple Heart for Wounds Received in Combat Action, and Bronze Star Medal With Combat “V” Device. He is honored for his heroic actions throughout the war, being instrumental in saving the life of a Marine and averting an attack on Bien Ky Hamlet, thereby reflecting great credit upon himself and upholding the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.  This highway designation is to pay tribute to Petty Officer Robert Segool’s honorable and heroic service and accomplishments.

State Senator Patrick M. Gallivan said, “Petty Officer Segool represents the very best of the United States military.  The recipient of the Purple Heart, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and numerous other medals served with honor and distinction in the Vietnam War, putting his life at risk to save others.  Naming this highway in his honor will help ensure his service and sacrifice will not be forgotten. Our community and our country are forever grateful.”

Legislation (S.7423-A/A.8343-A) Designates State Route 417 in the town of Allegany, Cattaraugus County, as the “Staff Sergeant Shawn M. Clemens Memorial Highway.”  Army Staff Sergeant Shawn M. Clemens as an Allegany resident who served the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, New York.  He passed away on January 29, 2005 in a weapons cache explosion in Afghanistan.  The Town of Allegany expressed its desire to honor Staff Sergeant Clemens through this legislation, in order to pay tribute and honor for his heroic service and ultimate sacrifice.

State Senator George Borrello said, “Staff Sergeant Clemens gave his life in defense of our country and the ideals it represents.  Now this road in his hometown will stand as a testament to his commitment and selflessness to our great nation.  Every day motorists who travel along Route 417 in Allegany will be reminded of his sacrifice and that the freedom they enjoy is made possible by soldiers like Staff Sergeant Clemens.  I was proud to sponsor legislation naming the Route 417 in his honor and want to thank Gov. Hochul for signing it into law.”

Assembly member Joseph M. Giglio said, “The highway renaming is a fitting tribute to a young soldier who gave his life in Afghanistan for his country.  We are reminded of the cost it takes to remain free.  We can never thank Staff Sgt. Clemens and his family enough for his ultimate sacrifice.”