New Laws Honor Local Military Heroes, First Responders

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HARRISBURG – A number of new road and bridge designations were signed into law recently to honor local military heroes and first responders, according to Senator Camera Bartolotta (R-46).

House Bill 1597 names a bridge on Interstate 70 in Westmoreland County in honor of Rostraver West Newton Emergency Services paramedic Matthew Smelser, a Charleroi resident who lost his life earlier this year while responding to a call on I-70.

House Bill 1510 also includes language from a bill Bartolotta proposed earlier this year making the following designations:

  • Exit 17 on Interstate 70 in the City of Washington as the Sergeant Russell Crupe, Jr., Memorial Exit.
  • A section of Pennsylvania Route 50 in Mount Pleasant Township as the Corporal Brady Clement Paul Memorial Highway.
  • The Morgan Road Bridge over Interstate 79 in Cecil Township as the Wreaths Across America Bridge.

Sergeant Russell Crupe, Jr. served two years of active duty in the Navy and six years as a member of the Army National Guard and Army Reserves. He served a tour of duty in Iraq as a combat engineer and earned numerous commendations before passing away in 2012.

Corporal Brady Clement Paul served four years in the State Highway Patrol. He was shot and killed in the line of duty after setting up a roadblock three miles east of New Castle on December 27, 1929.

The Wreaths Across America campaign encourages volunteers to place wreaths on the graves of veterans each December to honor their service to our country. Since the campaign was officially recognized by Congress in 2008, the effort has grown to include wreath-laying ceremonies in every state of the nation and Puerto Rico, as well as 24 overseas cemeteries.

“These brave individuals who have protected our communities with honor and distinction deserve to be recognized,” Bartolotta said. “I am thankful that we were able to push these bills across the finish line and ensure the contributions of these local heroes will be commemorated for generations to come.”

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CONTACT:  Colleen Greer (717) 787-1463