On eve of nation's July 4th observance, Governor Cuomo signs O'Mara-Palmesano legislation to designate the 'Sergeant Devin Snyder Memorial Highway' in tribute to fallen local hero

Thomas F. O'Mara

July 03, 2012

Albany, N.Y., July 3-Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R-C, Corning) to designate a portion of I-390 in Steuben County as the “Sergeant Devin Snyder Memorial Highway” has been signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

The designation (S.7739/A.10726/Chapter 101 of the Laws of 2012), which was unanimously approved by the Legislature two weeks ago, honors the memory and pays tribute to the life and service of United States Army Sgt. Devin A. Snyder of Cohocton, Steuben County, who was killed on June 4, 2011 while serving in Afghanistan.

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

The area lawmakers said that the portion of I-390 from Exit 2 in the town of Cohocton to Exit 3 in the town of Wayland will receive the designation.  They sponsored the measure at the request of town officials, community residents and local veterans.

Senator O’Mara said, “We appreciate Governor Cuomo’s swift signing of this legislation into law.  It’s a timely and fitting tribute on this Independence Day to recall the life, service and ultimate sacrifice of one of our local heroes.  The ‘Sergeant Devin Snyder Memorial Highway’ will forever honor Devin’s memory and express our enduring gratitude and respect for her service to America.”

Assemblyman Palmesano said, “The designation of the ‘Sergeant Devin Snyder Memorial Highway’ offers another opportunity for the Cohocton community and the residents of Steuben County to pay respect to Devin’s admirable and courageous service to our nation.  We’re grateful to Governor Cuomo for his immediate action on this meaningful tribute.”

Governor Cuomo said, ""Sergeant Snyder bravely served our nation before her untimely, tragic death," Governor Cuomo said. "As we mark our nation's founding this July 4th, we must honor the lives of fallen service members, and I am pleased that Sergeant Snyder's memory and sacrifice will be forever recognized with the renaming of a portion of Route I-390. I thank the bill sponsors for their work to ensure that our heroes' sacrifices are never forgotten." [read the governor's signing announcement]

Following the Legislature’s approval of the designation in late June, Ed and Dineen Snyder, Devin’s parents, said, “We can’t express enough our appreciation to our friends and neighbors and all of the people of Cohocton and throughout the region for all of their support over the past year. The designation of this highway in Devin’s memory is an amazing honor, and we’re very thankful to all of the local residents and veterans, Supervisor Zigenfus, Congressman Reed, and Senator O’Mara and Assemblyman Palmesano for this wonderful tribute to Devin and her service to our country.” 

Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning) said, “I hope that this designation will remind people to reflect on the sacrifice made by Sgt. Snyder and all those who have fallen in defense of our way of life. We live in a free country today because of Devin Snyder and all the men and women who have given their lives for the freedom of others."

Cohocton Town Supervisor Jack Zigenfus said, “On behalf of the residents of Devin’s hometown of Cohocton, we welcome the designation of this portion of Interstate 390 as the “Sergeant Devin Snyder Memorial Highway.”  Devin gave her life for her country and this memorial couldn’t be more fitting since the northbound lane of I-390 is directly over the gravesite where Devin was laid to rest.  I know that Devin’s family and our entire community are grateful for this tribute in her honor.”

Read more on Sgt. Devin Snyder, and watch the Senate's observation of a moment of silence for Devin here.