Portions of WNY highways renamed after heroes

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Governor Andrew Cuomo signed bills Thursday to rename portions of the state highway system in honor of veterans groups and servicemembers who died while protecting their country.

In Western New York, there are four portions of roadways that have been renamed. Twin Cities Highway, a stretch of State Route 425, will be renamed “Twin Cities Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway.” The roadway is in Erie and Niagara Counties.

Assemblyman Robin Schimminger, author of the bill, said, “The Twin Cities Memorial Highway was always meant to honor the war dead from the Tonawandas who served during the Vietnam War, but when the original legislation was enacted into law in 1970, the words Vietnam Veterans were intentionally left off the name because of the nature of the times. Now, during the 50th Anniversary since the Vietnam War, it is time we get it right and re-dedicate the arterial highway as the Twin Cities Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway.”

A section of State Route 93, in the Village of Youngstown, has been named Youngstown Veterans of Foreign Wars Memorial Highway.

Senator George Maziarz said, “It has been my honor and privilege to work with VFW Post 313 in Youngstown to come up with a way to honor all those local soldiers who have served our country in overseas conflicts. With this special designation, they will always be remembered and appreciated.”

The Wyoming County Veterans Memorial Highway will extend to include a larger stretch of Route 20A.

“This is a fitting tribute to all of the Wyoming County residents who have served in the Armed Forces, both at home and abroad. This highway will forever serve as a reminder of the dedication of these men and women and is an expression of our gratitude for their service,” said Senator Patrick M. Gallivan.

State Route 70 in Allegany County will be called Sergeant Omar G. Blowers Memorial Highway. Sgt. Blowers, from Swain, served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and was taken prisoner while fighting Chinese military forces. He died after 10 days in captivity at the age of 19.

“Sergeant Omar G. Blowers gave his life in heroic sacrifice while honorably serving and defending our country. After being taken prisoner in the Korean War, he lost his life in captivity and never made it back home. With this memorial highway, Sergeant Blowers will never be forgotten and from now on all who travel through his hometown of Swain will be reminded of what he did for us,” said Senator Catharine Young.

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