Members of the Patriot Guard Riders held flags during a ceremony dedicating John J. McKenna IV Way in Clifton Park on Sunday, April 15.
Photo by Julie Cushine-Rigg.
Clifton Park The memory of one of Clifton Park’s own — described by those who knew him as a man of service, a Renaissance man and above all a hero — is now affixed on the town’s map as John J. McKenna IV Way, which envelopes a shopping plaza just off of Crescent Rd. near exit 8 of the Northway.
Members of the New York State Troopers, American Legion, Marine Corps League and New York Five Patriot Guard were in attendance at a Sunday, April 15, ceremony to designate the road, along with John’s father, John McKenna III, and his sister Allyson.
“It’s an opportunity to dedicate a street, which is a small token of remembrance for someone who sacrificed their life for all of us. Future generations will hopefully ask ‘Who was John McKenna?’ and this will be a good opportunity for future generations of the town here to speak about the sacrifice that he made. It’s a lasting remembrance of a true hero,” said Roy Kraus, a member of the American Legion in Halfmoon.
Captain McKenna, 30, was killed in action on Aug. 16, 2006 in Fallujah, Iraq when his unit came under a coordinated sniper attack. He was struck by sniper fire while tending to an injured comrade, Michael Glover. He was a platoon commander with Company B, 1st Battalion, 25th Marines and is buried at Saratoga National Cemetery.
“He received a Silver Star for ignoring the eminent peril from heavy incoming fire… He was completely exposed to enemy fire and calmly knelt next to the stricken Marine to assess his condition. As he began to drag the Marine to a covered position, Captain McKenna was hit by enemy fire and mortally wounded,” said supervisor Phil Barrett, reading from McKenna’s biography.
Barrett referred to McKenna as not only a Clifton Park hero, butan American hero as well.