On Sunday, August 14, Senator Michael Doherty (R-Hunterdon, Somerset, Warren) will participate in a public ceremony to officially rename a portion of State Route 173 as “173rd Airborne Brigade Highway” in honor of the Brigade’s decades of service and heroism in defense of our country.
Sen. Michael Doherty participated in a ceremony naming a portion of Route 173 as the “173rd Airborne Brigade Highway” on August 14, 2016. (SenateNJ.com)
Doherty was the sponsor of legislation to rename the highway in commemoration of the Brigade.
“It’s fitting that we honor the Brigade and the thousands of soldiers who have served and sacrificed over the course of its history,” Senator Doherty said. “Over the years, these ‘Sky Soldiers’ have dedicated their lives to fighting for us. This is the least we could do to honor them.”
The ceremony will take place at noon Sunday at Lebanon Township Memorial Park, located at 70 Bunnvale Road in Lebanon. Colonel Gregory Anderson, Commander of the 173rd Airborne Brigade, will be the keynote speaker for the event.
The 173rd Airborne Brigade was formed as an infantry brigade in 1915 and fought in both World Wars. The brigade, reformed as an airborne task force, was the first Army unit sent into the Republic of South Vietnam in May 1965. Over the course of the Vietnam War, The 173rd earned four unit citations, 13 Medals of Honor and more than 130 Distinguished Service Crosses.
The Brigade also participated in Operation Iraqi Freedom and had four tours in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The 173rd is currently stationed in Vicenza, Italy.
Senator Doherty, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and a former Captain in the United States Army, sponsored the legislation to rename the stretch of Route 173 between Clinton and Phillipsburg after the 173rd Airborne Brigade at the suggestion of the GemVac Veterans, a local veterans group that includes some members that once served in the 173rd. The bill was signed into law in January.
“Whenever someone drives down Route 173, they will remember the legacy and the sacrifice of the brave soldiers that served in the 173rd Airborne Brigade,” Senator Doherty said. “I am pleased to join the GemVac Veterans and Colonel Anderson in honoring the members of the 173rd Airborne Brigade.”
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