TARRYTOWN, N.Y. -- "The reality is thousands of people are going to be going across this bridge and in this great country, fewer and fewer people serve in the United States military," said State Senator Greg Ball.
To honor veterans across the region and the country, New York State Senator Ball is proposing renaming the New Tappan Zee Bridge to the 'Purple Heart Memorial Bridge.'
"We have thousands of thousands of veterans, including service disabled veterans, so to re-named the Tappan Zee Bridge in honor of those who have not only made the ultimate sacrifice and received the Purple Heart, is a small token of our appreciation that will remind people everyday freedom is not free," said Senator Ball.
The Chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee on Veterans and a veteran himself, Senator Ball says he has the support of local veterans and veterans organizations. Ball believes renaming the New Tappan Zee Bridge is a fitting way to honor those who have bravely served our country.
"To see veterans get the proper recognition they deserve is tremendous and again, I totally believe they are the backbone of America and that they have made the country the great country that it is," said Don Smith, a retired Army General and Sheriff Putnam County.
"It is well deserved and long time coming for these veterans that have made our country what it is. They need to be recognized and should be recognized and this should be the epitome of having one of the longest bridges in the state, maybe even the United States, be named a Purple Heart Bridge," said Terrence Murphy, Town of Yorktown Council.
“The State of New York and the Thruway Authority have honored, and continue to honor, local veterans for their service and sacrifice, but at this point in the New NY Bridge project, there has been no discussion regarding the possibility of changing the name of the Tappan Zee Bridge," said Brian Conybeare, Special Advisor to the Governor New NY Bridge Project.
"I would hope when those families go across this bridge and they see that this great state has made this testament to this sacrifice, that it will give them a little bit of recognition that they so much and so deeply deserve," said Senator Ball.
Senator Ball plans on introducing both pieces of legislation when the New York State Senate returns to session in January.