New law sponsored by O'Mara and Palmesano designates 'Christopher J. Scott Memorial Highway' in tribute to fallen local soldier

Thomas F. O'Mara

July 09, 2013

Albany, N.Y., July 9—Legislation sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R,C-Big Flats) and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) to designate a portion of  State Route 14A between the town of Reading in Schuyler County and the village of Dundee in Yates County as the “Christopher J. Scott Memorial Highway,” has been signed into law by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo.

Cuomo approved the measure early last week, on Wednesday, July 3, to coincide with the following day’s Fourth of July observance.  He approved several similar pieces of legislation honoring three other fallen soldiers across New York.

“It is important for us to reflect on the service and sacrifice made by the men and women of the United States Armed Forces to preserve and protect the freedoms we hold so dear," Cuomo said. "These four young men believed firmly in our country’s ideals, and put their lives on the line to defend those principles overseas. This bridge and these newly renamed roads will honor these brave young men, and ensure that their sacrifice is always remembered. I thank the bill sponsors for their efforts, and express my deepest sympathies and gratitude to the families for their loss.”  

The O’Mara-Palmesano legislation, which was approved in mid-June by the Legislature, honors the memory and pays tribute to the life and service of United States Army Specialist Christopher J. Scott, a Dundee High School graduate, who was killed on September 3, 2011 while serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  He is the son of Kenneth M. and Tammy L. Scott of Tyrone. 

O’Mara said, "We appreciate Governor Cuomo’s swift signing of this legislation into law. It was a timely and fitting tribute on this Independence Day to recall the life, service and ultimate sacrifice of one of our local heroes. The ‘Christopher J. Scott Memorial Highway’ will forever honor Christopher’s memory and stand as a reminder of our gratitude and deep respect for his service to America." 

Palmesano said, "The designation of the ‘Christopher J. Scott Memorial Highway’ offers another opportunity for the community to salute and to express our enduring respect for Christopher's courageous and brave service to our nation. We’re grateful to Governor Cuomo for his immediate action on this meaningful tribute to coincide with this year's 4th of July observance."   

Congressman Tom Reed (R-Corning), who with U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is sponsoring legislation to rename the Tyrone Post Office in Scott’s honor, said,  “Dedicating a memorial highway to Specialist Christopher Scott is another way for us to remember his bravery and sacrifice. Any way we can honor his legacy in our local community is something we will wholeheartedly support and thanks to Senator O’Mara and Assemblyman Palmesano, we have another way to remember this hero.” 

Scott was raised in Dundee, graduated from Dundee High School in 2009 and began service in the Army.  He was assigned to units including the 561st Military Police Company, 716th Military Police Battalion and the 101st Sustainment Brigade.  While serving in the Army, he earned the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Bronze Service Star, and the Overseas Service Ribbon.  Posthumously, Scott was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Army Good Conduct Medal, NATO Medal and the Combat Action Badge.

O’Mara and Palmesano said that the portion of State Route 14A between the town of Reading in Schuyler County and the village of Dundee will receive the designation -- a 9.5 mile stretch of road which begins at the south end of State Route 14A where it branches off from State Route 14 and ends at the northern village limits of Dundee, nearby Hillside Cemetery where Scott is buried.  It follows a portion of the route of the procession which brought the soldier to his final resting place in September 2011. 

O’Mara and Palmesano sponsored the legislation (S.3725/A.5418) at the request of town officials, community residents and local veterans.