Route 7 Bridge would be named after Marine Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes de Oca who died in Afghanistan last month
(TRENTON) – Senator Paul A. Sarlo and Assembly members Gary S. Schaer and Marlene Caride (all D-Bergen/Passaic) have introduced legislation to rename a bridge after their constituent North Arlington native and United States Marine Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes de Oca who died in Afghanistan last month while supporting combat operations.
The bill (A-2676/S-1823) would designate the Route 7 Bridge between the Township of Belleville and the Borough of North Arlington as the “Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes de Oca Memorial Bridge.”
“Lance Corporal Montes de Oca embodied the selfless sense of service that all of our brave men and women in uniform possess, and he should be held up as a role model for our community,” said Sarlo. “Naming the entryway into his hometown in his honor will not only recognize his sacrifice for our nation, but honor his memory. A flag will only fly at half-staff for a day, but this recognition will last for generations.”
“This young man served his country and his home state proudly and for that we are grateful. In a world where news and information is constantly flowing, sometimes we forget too quickly the sacrifices made by others on our behalf,” said Schaer. “Renaming this bridge after Lance Corporal Montes de Oca will serve as a lasting reminder of the high price he paid to keep us and our country safe. As painful as it must be to lose a child, his family should be immensely proud of his dedication and contribution to our military efforts overseas. He is now part of American history.”
“Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes de Oca lost his life while serving his country. He was a brave Marine, a loving son, brother and friend,” said Caride. “We are indebted to him and all the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces and put themselves at risk to protect us and others. Renaming this bridge in his honor is a small way to honor his life and repay his commitment to our state and country.”
Osbrany Montes de Oca grew up in North Arlington and attended North Arlington High School. After graduation, he enlisted in the Marine Corps and was stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina with the 2nd Battalion, 6th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force. He tragically lost his life on February 10, 2012 while supporting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. He was 20 years old.
The bill authorizes the state commissioner of transportation to make the designation and erect a plaque bearing the dedication and designation, as well as appropriate route and directional signs bearing the new name. The bill provides that no state or public funds will be used in the designation.
The transportation commissioner is authorized under the bill to receive gifts, grants or other financial assistance from private sources for the purpose of funding or reimbursing the Department of Transportation for the costs associated with producing, purchasing, and erecting signs bearing the designation, with such private sources, including but not limited to non-governmental non-profit, educational or charitable entities or institutions. No work shall proceed, and no funding shall be accepted by the Department of Transportation until an agreement has been reached with a responsible party for paying the costs associated with producing, purchasing, erecting and maintaining the signs.
“There are many unsung heroes in this world. They may not garner the media’s attention or have their stories told in history books, but their contributions and sacrifices are no less worthy of recognition,” said Caride. “Through this designation, this bridge will serve as a permanent memorial for this young soldier who unselfishly gave his life to protect ours.”
The bill (A-2676) was introduced in the Assembly on March 8 and has been referred to the Assembly Transportation, Public Works and Independent Authorities Committee, while bill (S-1823) was introduced in the Senate on March 15 and referred to the Senate Transportation Committee. The bills are identical.