Albany, NY – In advance of Memorial Day, New York State Senator Daphne Jordan (R,C,I-Halfmoon) today announced Senate passage of her bipartisan legislation designating a portion of the state highway system as the “Rensselaer County Purple Heart Highway” to honor Rensselaer County and New York State's Purple Heart Heroes. The measure passed during today's Senate Session and has also passed the State Assembly.
The Purple Heart is the oldest, and among the most venerated, military decorations awarded in the name of the President to those wounded or killed while serving with the U.S. Military. The Purple Heart decoration was established in 1932 for members of America’s armed forces that made the ultimate sacrifice in serving our nation. A recent estimate indicated that there are almost 3,000 living Purple Heart recipients in New York State. Since the Purple Heart’s establishment in 1932, many towns and localities have designated themselves as Purple Heart locations, signifying that their community honors and understands the sacrifices that these heroes made on behalf of our country. In honor of these heroes, Senator Jordan’s legislation, Senate Bill S.6562, renames State Route 43 – which begins at the border of Massachusetts just east of Stephentown and ends at the intersection with 1-90 in North Greenbush as the “Rensselaer County Purple Heart Highway.”
Each of the four towns along Route 43 has passed resolutions becoming Purple Heart Towns and Senator Jordan’s bill will enhance the honor and respect that Rensselaer County – and New York State – shows to Purple Heart Veterans, as well as those killed in action. Within Senator Jordan’s district, all 60 towns, villages, and cities are now Purple Heart Communities, and all four counties – Saratoga, Rensselaer, Washington, and Columbia – have successfully passed local resolutions to become Purple Heart Counties. Out of the 62 counties in New York State, more than 40 are now Purple Heart Communities and several more have the designation pending. Several other areas throughout the state, including universities, buildings, trails, and highways, have been renamed with the Purple Heart designation.
In addition to today’s positive legislative action, on April 27, Senator Jordan’s bi-partisan legislation, Senate Bill S.2279, establishing New York State as a “Purple Heart State” passed with overwhelming support, by a vote of 62-0.
“With Memorial Day this coming Monday, when we pause to remember and reflect upon – and honor – on our military heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our freedom and nation, honoring our Purple Heart heroes is more important than ever. New York’s Purple Heart heroes are our best and bravest and we are forever thankful for their courageous service and selfless sacrifice. I’m grateful for my colleagues’ support of my legislation and this important, bi-partisan effort to continue recognizing our Purple Heart Heroes,” Senator Jordan said.