'Sgt. Devin A. Snyder Memorial Highway' pays tribute to fallen local hero

Thomas F. O'Mara

August 13, 2012

Cohocton, N.Y.—On Tuesday, August 7, 2012, the family and friends of the late U.S. Army Sergeant Devin A. Snyder of Cohocton joined state and local leaders and area veterans at a ceremony to officially designate a portion of I-390 in Steuben County  as the “Sergeant Devin A. Snyder Memorial Highway.”  

The late afternoon ceremony was held at the Lawrence Parks Recreation Area on Atlanta Back Road in Cohocton and featured the unveiling of the new state Department of Transportation (DOT) signs designating the stretch of I-390 between Exit 2 in the town of Cohocton (northbound) to Exit 3 in the town of Wayland (southbound) as the “Sergeant Devin A. Snyder Memorial Highway.”

State Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C, Corning), who introduced and sponsored the legislation authorizing the designation, joined Sgt. Snyder’s parents, Ed and Dineen, other family members and friends, area veterans,  DOT Region 6 (Steuben, Allegany, Chemung, Schuyler and Yates counties) Director Brian Kelly, Cohocton Town Supervisor Jack Zigenfus, and other officials at the ceremony.

O’Mara and Palmesano said they sponsored the legislation (S.7739/A.10726/Chapter 101 of the Laws of 2012) at the request of town officials, community residents and local veterans.  It was unanimously approved by the State Legislature in June to honor the memory and pay tribute to the life and service of Sgt. Snyder, who was killed on June 4, 2011 while serving in Afghanistan. 

Cuomo signed the legislation into law on July 3, 2012 to coincide with New York State’s July 4th observances.

Sgt. Snyder’s parents, Ed and Dineen, noting that the August 7th ceremony  took place on Devin’s birthday, said, “We are so pleased with the fact that part of Interstate 390 will be named in honor of our daughter, Devin.  We would like to be able to thank everyone who made this possible.  What a great honor to have this dedicated to her on her birthday." 

In a joint statement, O’Mara and Palmesano said, “The ‘Sergeant Devin A. Snyder Memorial Highway’ will forever honor Devin’s memory and express our enduring gratitude and respect for her service to America.  Devin made the ultimate sacrifice for all of us in the name of courage, duty and honor, and we have been extremely grateful for this opportunity to pay our deepest respect and tribute to Devin’s life and service.  We hope it will forever stand as an enduring remembrance of a local hero.”

Cohocton Town Supervisor Jack Zigenfus said, “The citizens of Cohocton hope that when people see the Devin A. Snyder Memorial Highway sign on Interstate 390 it causes them to reflect on what sacrifices our military personnel have made.  Freedom should never be taken for granted and we must never forget those who gave their lives for us."

Director Kelly said: “On behalf of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Commissioner Joan McDonald, the New York State Department of Transportation is honored and humbled to be able to pay this tribute to Sgt. Snyder.  This designation and the signs on this section of I-390 will always remind travelers of the dedicated service of Sgt. Snyder, a local hero who paid the ultimate sacrifice in devotion to her community, her state and her country.”

Sgt. Snyder was the first female soldier from western New York to die in the war.

Read more and watch a video of the ceremony on DansvilleOnline.com.