The Route 9P bridge at Saratoga Lake will be christened the “Saratoga County Veterans Memorial Bridge” if Gov. Andrew Cuomo gives his approval.
Before the state Legislature ended a lengthy session Wednesday night, it approved a request from the county to name the recently replaced bridge. The measure is expected to be signed into law by the governor.
Assemblyman James Tedisco, R-Glenville, who sponsored the bill in the Assembly, characterized the naming as a “small gesture” that was important because every reminder of the sacrifice made by veterans is important. He hoped people would think about the veterans who made the bridge possible every time they drive over it.
“What do we owe our veterans?” Tedisco said. “In a word, everything.”
State Sen. Roy McDonald, R-Saratoga, who introduced the bill in the Senate, said it was a no-brainer to carry this cause when he was asked by the county. A veteran himself, with service in the Vietnam War, he added that it is the duty of people not to forget the veterans who never made it home.
“This is an opportunity to stop and think,” McDonald said, adding that the new name embodies the patriotic spirit that flows through the region. “It’s important for every generation to see this and be thankful.”
Saratoga town Supervisor Thomas N. Wood III, chairman of the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, said supervisors submitted the request to the state in March and were “extremely excited” to see the Legislature finally approve the request. He said the naming of the bridge, which will be displayed on signs on both sides, is just another way people can remind veterans how much they matter and will remind ordinary citizens to think about veterans.
Wood added that the signs will likely be seen by a lot of people, as about 10,000 people travel across the bridge each day. “It gets wide use and therefore wide viewing,” he said.
While the signs still have to be created, Wood said they hope to have them up by Labor Day.
Saratoga County Veterans Committee Chairwoman Mary Ann Johnson, R-Day, noted that renaming the bridge makes sense because it leads to the Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery.
The county also proposed renaming three state highways in honor of veterans, but Johnson said technical errors in the proposed legislation blocked passage this year. She said supervisors hope to accomplish that next year.