PRIOR PRINTER'S NO. 652
PRINTER'S NO. 678
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF PENNSYLVANIA
SENATE BILL
No.
593
Session of
2019
INTRODUCED BY LAUGHLIN, APRIL 26, 2019
SENATOR K. WARD, TRANSPORTATION, AS AMENDED, APRIL 30, 2019
AN ACT
Designating a bridge, identified as Bridge Key 15986, on that
portion of Interstate 79 northbound over West 16th Street in
the City of Erie, Erie County, as the Thomas J. Kennedy, Jr.,
Memorial Bridge.; AND DESIGNATING A BRIDGE ON THAT PORTION OF
STATE ROUTE 4011 OVER PINE CREEK, HEGINS TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL
COUNTY, AS THE A. DONALD BUFFINGTON MEMORIAL BRIDGE.
The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
hereby enacts as follows:
Section 1. Thomas J. Kennedy, Jr., Memorial Bridge.
(a) Findings.--The General Assembly finds and declares as
follows:
(1) Thomas J. Kennedy, Jr., was born May 18, 1930, in
the City of Erie, Erie County, and served the United States
in the Marine Corps, where he reached the rank of Captain.
(2) Captain Kennedy was the Senior Battalion Advisor to
the Fifth Battalion, Vietnamese Marine Brigade, in the
hostile area of Phu An, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam.
(3) On June 12, 1966, Captain Kennedy was with the Fifth
Battalion Command Post when the lead elements were pinned
down by heavy enemy fire and the Command Post was destroyed
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by enemy mortar and rifle fire, killing the Battalion
Commander, the Battalion Surgeon, key staff officers and
numerous soldiers.
(4) Although suffering multiple shrapnel wounds, Captain
Kennedy located a radio and, with his last breath, reported
the situation, allowing the battalion to set up a defensive
perimeter and repulse repeated enemy attacks.
(5) Despite his mortal wounds, Captain Kennedy prevented
enemy forces from overrunning the remaining battalion units
and valiantly gave his life protecting the lives of his
fellow Marines.
(6) For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action,
Captain Kennedy was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the
third-highest personal decoration for valor in combat.
(b) Designation.--The bridge, identified as Bridge Key
15986, on that portion of Interstate 79 northbound over West
16th Street in the City of Erie, Erie County, is designated the
Thomas J. Kennedy, Jr., Memorial Bridge.
(c) Signs.--The Department of Transportation shall erect and
maintain appropriate signs displaying the name of the bridge to
traffic in both directions on the bridge.
SECTION 2. A. DONALD BUFFINGTON MEMORIAL BRIDGE.
(A) FINDINGS.--THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FINDS AND DECLARES AS
FOLLOWS:
(1) A. DONALD BUFFINGTON WAS BORN DECEMBER 16, 1929.
(2) MR. BUFFINGTON GRADUATED IN 1947 FROM THE FORMER
HEGINS TOWNSHIP HIGH SCHOOL AND IN 1949 FROM THE FORMER
ECKLES COLLEGE OF MORTUARY SCIENCE, PHILADELPHIA.
(3) MR. BUFFINGTON FAITHFULLY SERVED HIS COMMUNITY AS A
BOARD MEMBER OF THE VALLEY VIEW PARK ASSOCIATION AND A BOARD
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MEMBER OF THE TRI-VALLEY SCHOOL BOARD FOR SEVERAL DECADES.
(4) MR. BUFFINGTON SPENT SEVERAL DECADES OF TIME
MAINTAINING THE VALLEY VIEW PARK WHICH INCLUDED PAINTING AND
CUTTING GRASS.
(5) MR. BUFFINGTON WAS A COACH FOR THE HEGINS VALLEY
TEENER LEAGUE AND WAS THE FIRST TEENER LEAGUE COACH FROM
SCHUYLKILL COUNTY TO WIN THE STATE CHAMPIONSHIP IN 1970.
(6) MR. BUFFINGTON PLAYED AND COACHED SEMI-PRO BASEBALL
IN THE AREA FOR MANY YEARS.
(7) MR. BUFFINGTON WAS THE FUNERAL DIRECTOR FOR THE
FORMER BUFFINGTON FUNERAL HOME AND THE BUFFINGTON-REED
FUNERAL HOME, BOTH OF VALLEY VIEW.
(8) MR. BUFFINGTON WAS A MEMBER OF FRIEDENS UNITED
CHURCH OF CHRIST IN HEGINS, VALLEY VIEW GUN CLUB AND VALLEY
VIEW FIRE COMPANY.
(B) DESIGNATION.--THE BRIDGE LOCATED ON STATE ROUTE 4011
OVER PINE CREEK, HEGINS TOWNSHIP, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY, IS
DESIGNATED THE A. DONALD BUFFINGTON MEMORIAL BRIDGE.
(C) SIGNS.--THE DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SHALL ERECT AND
MAINTAIN APPROPRIATE SIGNS DISPLAYING THE NAME OF THE BRIDGE TO
TRAFFIC IN BOTH DIRECTIONS ON THE BRIDGE.
Section 2 3. Effective date.
This act shall take effect in 60 days.
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