Schenectady County Metroplex Approves Special Parking Area for Purple Heart Recipients
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara was joined by local officials, representatives from the Military Order of the Purple Heart, AmVets Post 35 and local area Purple Heart veterans to officially unveil a special parking area in downtown Schenectady in recognition of service members wounded in combat.
Santabarbara, who served in the U.S. Army Reserve and is now a member of the State Assembly’s Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, began working with local municipalities, businesses and organizations to bring the Purple Heart parking designation to areas across his Assembly District, and the idea is catching on! This installation is the fourth space Santabarbara has unveiled since the initiative began in April of 2016. Schenectady County Metroplex joins the MiSci Museum and the town hall parking areas in Rotterdam and Princetown, who have also adopted this unique purple parking space, complete with signage, as a tribute to all those wounded in combat serving our country.
“It’s so important to show our veterans that their courage and sacrifice is appreciated – not just on holidays, but every day,” said Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara. “With the success of our Hometown Heroes celebration here in downtown Schenectady, this serves as yet another way to say ‘Thank You’ to our veterans and will also serve as a daily reminder in our community to remember the brave men and women who serve our country and return home to live in our communities.” Santabarbara added, “I extend my heartfelt thanks to Ray Gillen, the Schenectady County Metroplex Authority, and the Schenectady County Legislature for embracing this idea and adopting the initiative as a model for others to follow.”
“It is a great pride to see a Purple Heart parking space. Pride in one’s military, veterans, local community, and national patriotism. It recognizes all recipients, regardless of when and where they stood and answered when our nation called. It reminds everyone that although the battles are in our past, they still define the future,” said Thomas Prasenski, Commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart. “George Washington created this award to recognize and honor his soldiers, and that tradition is still being carried on today, with this parking spot.”
Ray Gillen, Chair of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority said, “We are pleased to work with Assemblyman Santabarbara to designate a parking space for Purple Heart recipients. This is a great way to honor these veterans who provided such heroic service to our nation.”
“The unveiling of the first dedicated Purple Heart parking spot here in downtown Schenectady is a proud moment not only for the City of Schenectady, but also for the County of Schenectady as well,” said Schenectady County Legislator Karen Johnson. “Not only are we making our downtown area more accessible for those who have been injured during combat, but we are also recognizing and honoring these individuals that have bravely served our nation when we needed them most.”
“The Downtown Schenectady Improvement Corporation is very proud to support the first Purple Heart parking space in downtown’s public parking lots,” said DSIC Executive Director, Jim Salengo. “Along with Veterans Park and our Hometown Heroes banner program, today’s dedication further expresses downtown’s appreciation for the sacrifices that the brave men and women of our armed forces have made for our county.”
Purple Heart parking signs are available free-of-charge to municipalities and other establishments through the Wounded Warriors Family Support organization and can be obtained online at www.wwfs.org/mobility-is-freedom/combat-wounded-parking-signs or through Assemblyman Santabarbara’s office, online at http://nyassembly.gov/mem/Angelo-Santabarbara/contact/ or by calling (518) 382-2941.
For more information, contact Nicole Parisi (518) 366-2136