(Albany, NY) Senator Dale M. Volker (R-I-C, Depew) today, along with members of the Western New York Legislative Delegation, announced that Route 219 will be renamed the "Erie County Veterans Memorial Highway" and the "Art Benson Memorial Highway." This new designation was strongly advocated by the entire Western New York Legislative Delegation and the two bills that were passed by both Houses of the Legislature were signed into law by Governor George E. Pataki in July and August of 2005.
"The Western New York Legislative Delegation has continued to work in a bipartisan manner to bring about legislation that honors our residents, protects our region, and ensures that we are properly represented in Albany," said Senator Dale M. Volker. "We all had a firm belief that designating portions of U.S. Route 219 as the "Arthur Benson Memorial Highway" and "Erie County Veterans' Memorial Highway" was the right thing to do. It will allow our residents, as well as all those who utilize this busy section of highway, to remember the sacrifices of our men and women serving in our Armed Forces, and also recognizing Arthur Benson for his lifelong commitment in promoting the U.S. Route 219 Corridor."
Senator William Stachowski said, "Arthur Benson was a tremendous force in advocating the U.S. Route 219 corridor as a way to improve economic development for the entire western New York region. His vision became a reality and allowed our economy to diversify and expand. We must also never forget that many of our residents are serving their country honorably throughout the world. They are at the forefront in saving lives, stabilizing regional conflicts, and protecting us from those who wish to destroy our way of life. It is my sincere hope that when motorist drive on these sections of highway, that they remember and honor both the men and women in uniform, and appreciate Arthur Benson’s unwavering commitment to our region."
"The renaming of Route 219 to honor our veterans and Arthur Benson, is a testament to the exceptional character, dedication, and commitment of our nation’s military men and women, and for Arthur Benson, who had the foresight to advocate for a roadway system that has benefited an entire region," said Assemblyman Jack Quinn, Jr. "Our roadways have played a key role in the development of economic strategies that have had long-term benefits for our region. It is only right and just to honor both our veterans and Arthur Benson on these two portions of the former U.S. Route 219. I am honored to be here today to rename Route 219 to the "Erie County Veterans Memorial Highway" and the "Art Benson Memorial Highway."
Assemblyman Mark Schroeder said, "Men and women who have served, and those currently involved in military conflicts around the globe, deserve our greatest admiration and appreciation. Our veterans have paid a significant price for our nations prosperity and freedoms, and today’s military men and women are continuing this commitment when our nation call its fathers, mothers, sons and daughters to far off lands to defend our nation and our freedoms. The renaming of Route 219 to honor our region’s veterans and Arthur Benson, who was instrumental in bringing this designation to fruition, will be a living reminder of our sincere gratitude for their noble work in protecting our freedoms."