senate Bill S7223

Signed By Governor
2013-2014 Legislative Session

Designates a portion of the state highway system as the "Twin Cities Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway"

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Archive: Last Bill Status Via A9518 - Signed by Governor


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed by Governor

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jul 03, 2014 signed chap.84
Jul 02, 2014 delivered to governor
Jun 10, 2014 returned to assembly
passed senate
3rd reading cal.828
substituted for s7223
Jun 10, 2014 substituted by a9518
May 28, 2014 advanced to third reading
May 21, 2014 2nd report cal.
May 20, 2014 1st report cal.828
May 06, 2014 referred to transportation

Votes

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S7223 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9518
Law Section:
Highway Law
Laws Affected:
Add §344-c, Hway L

S7223 - Bill Texts

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Designates a portion of the state highway system as the "Twin Cities Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway".

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BILL NUMBER:S7223

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the highway law, in relation to
designating a portion of the state highway system as the "Twin Cities
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway"

PURPOSE OF THE BILL: The purpose of this bill is to rename the Twin
Cities Memorial Highway to reflect the original intent of the 1970 law
naming the highway to honor military personnel from the Cities of
Tonawanda and North Tonawanda who died in Vietnam.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: 1- Amends the Highway Law by adding a
new § 344-c to designate a portion of the State highway system as the
"Twin Cities Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway."

§ 2- Requires that the Commissioner of Transportation shall provide
for the installation and maintenance of adequate signing of the State
Highway System and that the designation of this portion of the State
Highway System shall be ceremonial in nature and will not change the
official name of the highway.

§ 3- Effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: The purpose of this bill is to re-designate a portion
of the state highway system consisting of a portion of the arterial
highway in the adjacent Cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda in
Erie and Niagara Counties, respectively, as the "Twin Cities Vietnam
Veterans Memorial Highway."

Following the death of Pvt. Thomas J. Fox, the first North Tonawanda
resident to be killed in action in Vietnam, the late Senator Earl W.
Brydges was approached by a North Tonawanda resident to name the new
Young-Division Arterial after Pvt. Fox. The Tonawanda Common Council
noted that one of its native sons, Pfc. Ronald Sadler, had also paid
the ultimate price in Vietnam and was deserving of a public honor. A
joint Highway Committee was named with each city appointing three
members to review the matter. According to newspaper accounts,
committee members agreed that it would be "more appropriate to
designate the highway in memory of all Twin Cities Vietnamese war dead
instead of an individual." The committee's suggested name for the
arterial was "The Twin Cities Memorial Highway" and it was requested
that the Department of Transportation install plaques with the names
of the fallen on both ends of the highway's bridge spanning the Erie
Canal, which is the boundary between the two cities. Legislation was
enacted with the suggested name, Twin Cities Memorial Highway (Chapter
650 of the Laws of 1970). With the permission of NYSDOT, stone
memorials, paid for by each city, were placed at the Tonawanda and
North Tonawanda entrance/exit ramps for the Twin Cities Memorial
Highway at each end of the Erie Canal bridge.

Over the years, it became obvious that the memorials were isolated and
not the tribute to the fallen that was originally envisioned. North
Tonawanda was the first community to relocate its Vietnam memorial to
Brauer Park near the city's World War I and II memorials. Later, the
City of Tonawanda relocated its memorial to a spot along the Niagara
River near City Hall and close to other veteran memorials.


With the Vietnam memorials relocated, there is no indication that the
Twin Cities Memorial Highway was dedicated to those who served and
died in Vietnam. Historical documents and newspaper accounts of the
time clearly indicate that the expressway and the monuments were
intertwined and "dedicated to the memory of those who made the
greatest sacrifice in Vietnam." While the monuments still honor those
who died in Vietnam, they stand far removed and unrelated to the
expressway that was dedicated to the memory of those honored by the
monuments.

With the beginning of the national Vietnam War Commemoration now in
progress, it would be appropriate to formally re-designate the highway
to truly honor the men from the Twin Cities who never returned from
Vietnam by renaming the expressway the Twin Cities Vietnam Veterans
Memorial Highway.

Historical Note - The newspaper accounts of the time do not mention
why the words "Vietnam Veteran" were never included in the formal name
of the highway even though the intent to honor the fallen in Vietnam
was clear. We can only surmise that the words were intentionally left
out because of the unpopularity of the war and the effect it would
have on passing the bill (S.9484) that named the highway. We must
remember that in the late sixties and seventies, the nation was
extremely polarized over the U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Across the
nation there were anti-draft protests, bombings and peaceful
demonstrations that turned violent on city streets and on university
campuses.

To put things in perspective, at the time the name of the highway was
being debated by the Tonawanda and North Tonawanda Highway Committee,
news stories of the day reported that the Army charged 14 officers
with suppressing information related to the My Lai massacre and that a
bomb constructed by members of the Weathermen and meant to be planted
at a military dance in New Jersey exploded killing three members of
the organization. When the bill naming the highway passed both houses
of the Legislature and was signed into law as Chapter 650 on May 8,
1970, it was just days after U.S. forces crossed into Cambodia,
threatening to widen the war, and four students at Kent State
University were killed and nine were wounded by Ohio National
Guardsmen at a protest against the incursion into Cambodia. And when
the Tonawanda News ran a story announcing that the Twin Cities
Memorial Highway would be open on Labor Day, 1971, it was placed next
to a United Press International story with the headline "The Death
Toll in Vietnam War is Now 50,000."

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Minimal.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7223

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               May 6, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen. MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation

AN ACT to amend the highway law, in relation to designating a portion of
  the state highway system as the "Twin Cities Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  Highway"

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.   The highway law is amended by adding a new section 344-c
to read as follows:
  S 344-C. PORTION OF STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM TO BE DESIGNATED AS THE "TWIN
CITIES VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL HIGHWAY".  THE  PORTION  OF  THE  STATE
HIGHWAY  SYSTEM  CONSISTING OF A PORTION OF THE ARTERIAL HIGHWAY SYSTEMS
IN THE CITIES OF NORTH TONAWANDA AND TONAWANDA IN NIAGARA AND ERIE COUN-
TIES, RESPECTIVELY, AND LYING GENERALLY BETWEEN ERIE AVENUE  AND  WHEAT-
FIELD  STREET  IN  THE  CITY OF NORTH TONAWANDA AND THE HIGHWAY KNOWN AS
YOUNGMANN HIGHWAY IN THE CITY OF TONAWANDA SHALL BE DESIGNATED AND KNOWN
AS THE "TWIN CITIES VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL HIGHWAY".
  S 2. The commissioner of transportation shall provide for the  instal-
lation  and  maintenance of adequate signing of the state highway system
as designated pursuant to section one of this  act.  However,  to  avoid
confusion  and  to limit any possible disruption of commerce, the desig-
nation called for pursuant to section one of this act shall be one of  a
ceremonial  nature  and  the  official name of such highway shall not be
changed as a result of this act.
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.




 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13305-04-4

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