The Connecticut State Senate has voted to approve legislation that will memorialize three Stamford residents. If passed, two portions of road and a bridge in the city would be renamed in their honor. State Senator Carlo Leone, who represents Stamford and Darien, made the announcement Monday.
The bill states a portion of Route 137 from Route 1 to Broad St. would be designated the "U.S. Navy SEAL Brian R. Bill Memorial Highway." State Representative Michael Molgano (R-144) submitted this proposal on behalf of the Brian Bill Memorial Committee.
Chief Petty Officer Brian Bill lost his life in August 2011 when the helicopter he was in was shot down in Afghanistan. The 31-year-old Navy SEAL was a graduate of Trinity Catholic High School. The Stamford community has come together during many events to honor the fallen hero, and the Brian Bill Memorial Fund has been established in his name and honors others serving in the global war on terror.
The legislation also states bridge number 00036 on Blachley Rd. overpassing Interstate 95 would be designated the "Leslie A. Padilla Memorial Bridge."
The bridge is not far from Rogers International School, where Leslie Padilla was a cherished teacher. Padilla passed away last March, after battling cancer. In addition to teaching Spanish, Bilingual and ELL, Padilla directed all of the school's plays and had a passion for the performing arts. In April, the school dedicated its performing arts center to Padilla in her name.
Finally, the bill states the portion of Route 137 in Stamford from West Broad St. north to High Ridge Rd. would be designated the "Master Sergeant Homer Lee Wise WWII Medal of Honor Recipient Memorial Highway."
Homer Lee Wise served in the United States Army during World War II and received a Medal of Honor -- the military's highest decoration. A statue of Wise stands in Veterans Park and was erected December 2012. Following Stamford's annual Memorial Day parade this year, the community paid tribute to Wise, unveiling a plaque at the base of the sculpture.
"All three of these individuals were great citizens who contributed so much to our city, whether through community involvement or service to our country in armed forces," said Leone. "I am proud to announce these roadways will be renamed in their honor."
The legislation, Senate Bill 975, now proceeds to the CT House of Representatives, where it will await further action. The House has until midnight June 5, when the regular legislative session ends.