March 4, 2011
Nassau County Legislator Denise Ford is proud to announce that the Long Beach Bridge will be formally renamed the “Michael Valente Memorial Bridge” in honor of local World War I hero Michael Valente. All members of the community are invited to join Legislator Ford, County Executive Ed Mangano, and Mr. Valente’s family for the official renaming ceremony at Long Beach City Hall on March 25 at 11:00am.
Michael Valente was born in Sant’ Apollinare, Italy, and emigrated to America at the age of 18. He had been in the country only three years when he entered Company D of the New York National Guard; it was his start down the road that would lead him to the trenches of World War I, France, and the immortality of having his name inscribed on the Medal of Honor Roll. His regiment had been activated during the American Campaign against Poncho Villa, but saw no action until Company D was absorbed into the 27th Division and sent overseas to fight in France with the British during World War I.
On September 29, 1918 Mr. Valente’s unit---Company D of the 107th Regiment, 27th Infantry Division---suffered heavy casualties in assaulting the Hindenberg Line. He volunteered an assault on the machine gun nests pinning them down. For his heroic actions, President Herbert Hoover presented Mr. Valente with the Congressional Medal of Honor, the highest distinction which can be earned by a member of the armed forces.
Legislator Ford is pleased that the County recognized the heroic acts of Mr. Valente and hopes all who pass the new signs will remember him as fondly as his friends and family. “Just as someone like Rosa Parks became a face for the Civil Rights movement, renaming a bridge after Mike Valente puts an important name and face on an important historical event,” said Legislator Ford.
Please join Legislator Ford for the bridge re-naming ceremony at 11:00am on March 25, 2011 at the Long Beach City Hall at 1 West Chester Street.