December 1, 2016
RICHBURG– In a ceremony complete with full military honors, Private First Class Duane C. Scott was posthumously remembered today with the dedication of State Route 275 as the “PFC Duane C Scott Memorial Highway.” The memorialization of the road developed from a home-grown effort begun earlier this year by local veterans and members of the Daughters of the American Revolution who wished to pay tribute to the fallen local hero. Legislation sponsored and passed by Senator Catharine Young (R, Olean) and Assemblyman Joseph Giglio (R, Gowanda), and signed by Governor Cuomo, formally designated the highway in honor of the Vietnam War veteran, who lost his life son September 29, 1969. “The Vietnam War was fought against a tremendous backdrop, with two world superpowers waging a proxy battle during the most dangerous parts of the Cold War. PFC Duane Scott, and more than three million Americans, stood tall to defend our Nation and protect an ally, fighting for democracy and the rule of law. His service, and the service of all our Vietnam War Era veterans was honorable, and their efforts on our behalf are deserving of the utmost praise and thanks,” said Senator Young. “Tragically, PFC Scott’s life was cut short at an age where many in our modern day are just beginning to find their way in the world. PFC Scott never wavered in his devotion to our great Nation, and it is fitting that his fellow veterans have spearheaded this effort to dedicate the highway in his memory. It was a national tragedy that Vietnam War veterans returning home were criticized and vilified, instead of being honored for answering their country’s call. Dedicating this roadway in memory of PFC Scott helps right this wrong,” she said.
“The dedication of this highway is a permanent reminder that we should never take for granted the sacrifices made by service members and their families. We are able to continue to remember PFC Scott’s dedication to his country every time we travel this road. Even after all these years, the loss of such a fine human being still affects the family and the community in which Private First Class Duane C. Scott lived. Today we join together to remember his sacrifice and celebrate his service to our country. I am humbled to help bring recognition and comfort to those who knew PFC Scott as we dedicate this portion of State Route 275 in his honor,” said Assemblyman Giglio.
Tom Scott, one PFC Duane Scott’s brothers, said, “On behalf of Duane’s immediate and extended family, and especially for our Mother, we wish to extend our deepest and sincerest appreciation for this recognition bestowed upon Duane. Our special thanks goes out to Governor Cuomo for signing this bill, and Assemblyman Giglio and Senator Young, and their staffs, who have been principals in directing this great honor. Lastly, but not least, with deep appreciation, we’d like to thank Duane’s personal friends and fellow veterans whose efforts ensured that such deserved recognition has come to fruition. I know he’d be proud of what you have done. My brother has taught me that longevity of mortal life does not in itself measure the mark we leave here on earth. In an unsettled world such as we live in today, we can take great comfort in the message that small town America sends to the world that the best of America still lives on in its love, beliefs, actions and deeds as demonstrated here today. The Scott family is proud and humbled.”
Private First Class Duane Carl Scott was born on July 25, 1949, and grew up in Allegany County, attending school in the Village of Richburg until he began his military service. PFC Scott was a graduate of Richburg Central School’s Class of 1967, where he played both basketball and soccer. He completed his training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and was then assigned to Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment. After spending just six months in the Army he deployed to Vietnam, beginning his tour on August 3, 1969. Having spent fewer than 60 days in the country, PFC Duane C. Scott was Killed in Action on September 29, 1969, in Pleiku Province, Vietnam. For his service, PFC Scott was awarded the Bronze Star, the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with Palm Unit Citation. “When called upon by his country, PFC Scott stood tall in defense of our Nation and its allies, and he paid the ultimate price for his unwavering bravery. We thank PFC Scott for his valiant service and remember his immense sacrifice. We are grateful to all our Vietnam Veterans for their commitment to our great Nation. All who travel this road will now be reminded that our values, our beliefs, and our way of life are only made possible through the courageous sacrifices of our veterans, past and present,” said Senator Young.