Honoring Our ‘Hometown Heroes’

By Senator Patty Ritchie
With its rigorous selection criteria, for 150 years, the Medal of Honor has been known by all as our Nation’s highest military decoration.  What many people don’t know, is that of the fewer than 3,500 recipients, one in four are New Yorkers.

With at least 45 Medal of Honor recipients associated with Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, our region is truly the “home of heroes.”

From Oswego Town’s Dr. Mary Walker, the only woman ever to receive the Medal of Honor to Sgt. Jared Monti, a 10th Mountain soldier who died in Afghanistan while aiding wounded comrades, the honorees from our region are truly remarkable.

To pay tribute, I will be recognizing local Medal of Honor recipients through a traveling display that will be featured at museums, libraries and other locations throughout Central and Northern New York throughout the remainder of the summer and the fall.

The exhibit, which is marking the 150th anniversary of the creation of the Medal of Honor by President Abraham Lincoln, is the second in a series that began last year.

It will be featured at the St. Lawrence County Historical Society’s Silas Wright Museum, Watertown’s Flower Memorial Library, the Sackets Harbor Historical Society, the Carthage Free Library, Jefferson Community College, the Fulton Public Library as well as several other museums, libraries and other locations throughout Central and Northern New York.

For a full list of locations and dates, or to view the display online, please visit my website, www.ritchie.nysenate.gov

My “Hometown Heroes” display is just one of the ways I have been working to pay tribute to Medal of Honor recipients.

Recently, I sponsored “The Medal of Honor Heroes Highway Act.”

This legislation honors and recognizes the sacrifice of New York’s Medal of Honor recipients by naming 800 of the state’s 20,000 bridges and overpasses in their honor.

So many brave men and women have put their lives on the line for their country, and the Medal of Honor is the ultimate honor for that service.

I would like to thank the organizations that are hosting this special exhibit, and encourage those who haven’t seen it to take the time to learn more about the heroes who have called our region “home.”