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Road named in veteran’s memory

Clifton Park’s John J. McKenna remembered as hero

Members of the Patriot Guard Riders held flags during a ceremony dedicating John J. McKenna IV Way in Clifton Park on Sunday, April 15.

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.

— McKenna was born in Brooklyn, when his parents lived until eight days after he was killed. They relocated to Clifton Park to be nearer to him and other family members.

McKenna started his military career when he accepted a commission with the Marine Corps in 1998 as a second lieutenant and was later assigned to the second Marine Air Wing where he served as part of Enduring Freedom, and later in Enduring Iraqi Freedom. In 2003 he left active military duty and perused a career with the New York State Police and was later stationed in Saratoga and Clifton Park with Troop G before receiving a permanent assignment with Troop F.

“In light of the ongoing war on terror, John felt compelled to continue his service to his country by joining Company F, Second Battalion, 25thMarines in Albany. … Captain McKenna’s unit was called up to serve in February2005 for duty in Iraq,” said Barrett.

Alan Atwell, a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge and “a friend to every veteran in the county” as described by Barrett, spoke to the crowd about McKenna’s service.

“My generation knew who the enemy were. They wore steel helmets, they had gray uniforms. We knew who our opponents were, but I cannot imagine what Captain McKenna and his generation are going through now. … We both fought for the same ideals,” said Atwell as he solemnly removed his cap in honor of McKenna.

George Randall of Ballston Spa wrote a poem, “You are not Forgotten,” which Town Board member Scott Hughes read in part.

“You are not forgotten and you will never be, for you have a special place within my heart though you’re far across the sea. I think of you and pray for you while you are serving there..,” read Hughes.

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