A bill needs Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature to rename a portion of Route 9 in the Hudson Valley in honor of local veterans.

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On Thursday, Senator Sue Serino and Assemblyman Kieran Lalor (105th Assembly District) announced their bill to designate State Route 9 in the Town of Wappinger as "Wappinger Veterans Memorial Highway" has passed both houses of the Legislature.

“I am proud to have sponsored this bill along with Senator Sue Serino with local assistance from the Town of Wappinger. We are now able to recognize our veterans by renaming a portion of Route 9 in their honor. Courageous Wappinger residents like Sergeant Mark Palmateer and Major Daniel Martz are appropriately recognized by name in local memorials and we are fortunate to have other veterans’ monuments in the area. Route 9 in Wappinger is also home to the first in the country POW / MIA Memorial Park placed in honor of Wappinger Falls resident Major Joseph McDonald who was shot down over Vietnam. As noted by the Wappinger Town Board in a resolution, it is very fitting for the most heavily traveled highway in Wappinger to be named for all the men and women of Wappinger who have served our nation. This name change will help bring recognition and remembrance to our local veterans and their service while people travel, shop and work on the Wappinger Veterans Memorial Highway in the Town of Wappinger,” Lalor said.

The legislation was introduced at the request of the Town Board of the Town of Wappinger. Town officials chose this stretch of roadway to be named in honor of our veterans, as it is the most heavily trafficked highway within the town, officials say.

"The Town of Wappinger is elated that both the NY State Senate and Assembly have approved bills that would allow us to designate the section of Route 9 that runs through the Town as our Veterans Memorial Highway. The ongoing recognition and support given to our veterans is a very important initiative on which I and the Town Board have focused our attention. Thanks to Deputy Supervisor Kevin Hathorn and Randy Ross for their efforts to bring this dream to reality," Wappinger Town Supervisor Dick Thurston said.

The bill will now be sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's desk to be signed into law.

“There will never be enough words to express the full depth of our gratitude to our veterans who have made tremendous sacrifices for all of us,” Serino said in a statement. “Thousands of residents and visitors alike travel this stretch of road regularly, and naming it in honor of our veterans is one of the many ways our community is working to continually honor their service and dedication. The Wappinger Veterans Memorial Highway will help send an important message to our vets that they will forever have a grateful community behind them. I thank our servicemen and women and all of those who played a role in this important initiative.”

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