TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden (D – Gloucester, Camden) and Donald Norcross (D – Camden, Gloucester) designating Route 42 as the “Route 42 Purple Heart Memorial Highway” has been signed into law.
“Established by General George Washington to recognize outstanding examples of bravery and sacrifice by our soldiers, the Purple Heart is the country’s oldest military decoration still in use,” said Madden, who recently was named the New Jersey Veterans of Foreign Wars’ Legislator of the Year. “This designation is a small way our state can pay tribute to the men and women who received this medal for the extraordinary courage they demonstrated. It also offers a way to recognize all of the military personnel who have dedicated their lives to serving and protecting our country.”
“The Route 42 Purple Heart Memorial Highway will honor the recipients of this prestigious award, who demonstrated incredible acts of heroism,” said Senator Norcross, a member of the Senate Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “It will also serve as a reminder of the men and women in uniform who paid a high price so that we can enjoy the freedom and liberties that we do in this country today.”
The law, S-578, permits the Commissioner of the state Department of Transportation to solicit private donations for the purchase, production or building of any signs reflecting the change.
The Purple Heart is awarded as a medal and a ribbon (worn on the left side of the uniform) according to the U.S. Army study guide. Currently, the Purple Heart is awarded to extraordinarily brave service members or given posthumously to the next of kin of those killed in action. The law honors all Purple Heart recipients — past, present, and future – for their heroic service.
The Senate approved the bill by a vote of 40-0. The Assembly voted 77-0 to approve the measure.