Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin (R,C-Melrose) today was joined by family members and friends of the late Derek Farley to unveil a plaque officially naming the bridge entering Derek’s hometown the “Staff Sergeant Derek Farley Memorial Bridge” in a dedication ceremony. Earlier this year, McLaughlin was joined by Senator Roy McDonald (R-Saratoga) in passing legislation to name the bridge after Derek, who was awarded the Purple Heart in 2007 and was killed after attempting to dismantle an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan in 2010.
“We as Americans should be honored to know that there are people in our community ready to make the ultimate sacrifice like Derek did,” said Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin. “All those who travel along this stretch of Route 20 in Nassau will be given a chance to reflect on the courage, heroism and bravery this young man displayed defending our freedom. I offer my deepest thanks and reverence to Sergeant Farley’s family and hope that they accept this gesture as a token of our nation’s gratitude and admiration for his service.”
“The men and women of our armed services are dedicated patriots who serve their country to protect our freedoms,” said Senator Roy McDonald. “This dedication serves as a daily reminder for our local community of the heroism demonstrated by Staff Sgt. Farley. As a former veteran myself, I’m proud to honor his memory.”
“I am so proud that the Route 20 bridge will be named in honor of Staff Sergeant Derek Farley, a hero and role model to the people of Rensselaer County and our nation,” said Congressman Chris Gibson (NY-20). “I want to thank the Farley family, Assemblyman Steve McLaughlin, and Senator Roy McDonald for advancing the legislation required for this fitting tribute. As Route 20 is one of the most important highways in the State of New York, connecting our region with New England and the Great Lakes, this is a fitting tribute to a local hero that has touched so many lives.”
“Staff Sgt. Derek Farley gave his life defending his nation and protecting the lives of the men and women he served with and this bridge named in his honor will serve as a lasting tribute to his service and sacrifice. His tragic death is a stark reminder of the dangers faced by the men and women who serve in our armed forces and a testament to their willingness to place themselves in harms way to ensure our way of life,” said Rensselaer County Executive Kathleen M. Jimino.
This bridge dedication is an appropriate reminder for those entering our community that freedom is not free,” said Nassau Town Supervisor David Fleming. “It is also a reminder for those entering Nassau of a local hero, Staff Sgt. Derek Farley, whom we honor for his service and sacrifice but also celebrate for what he accomplished in his short life. His heroism is a lesson for generations and his hometown warmly welcomes the naming of this bridge in his honor.