The following is an article published in the Finger Lakes Times dated, August 6, 2010
By JIM MILLER
WATERLOO — As a young man, Lewis Kime used to ride his bike past the future site of the Sampson Air Force and Naval Base. He trained there in 1942. And after serving in the Navy in the Pacific Theater during World War II, he returned to Sampson for discharge. Now 87 and still living nearby in Romulus, he’s glad to know that he and the 740,000 other Navy and Air Force personnel who trained at Sampson will get one more nod of recognition. On July 30, Gov. David Paterson signed a long-awaited bill designating the section of Route 96A that runs past the old base as the Sampson Veterans Memorial Highway. Kime, who volunteered at the museum that veterans established at the base until it was turned over to the state several years ago, spoke to the Times last month, after the Legislature passed the bill but before Paterson signed it. “I think it’s great,” he said. “It will mean a lot to the veterans, I think, that served there.” The state Assembly approved the bill in June, and the Senate followed suit in July. Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, R-129 of Canandaigua, and Sen. Michael Nozzolio, R-54 of Fayette, both backed it. “The adoption of this important legislation will serve as a lasting tribute to the brave veterans who gave so much for our country,” Nozzolio said in a press release after its passage. “I firmly believe we have no greater obligation than to make sure the sacrifices of our brave veterans are never forgotten, and the Sampson Veterans Memorial Highway will do just that.” The memorial highway begins at Routes 5&20 and 96A in Waterloo and runs south to Route 414 in Ovid. In addition to the museum, that section of road runs past the planned Sampson Veterans Cemetery, other sections of the old base and Sampson State Park.
“Route 96A serves as the principal point of access to each of these community assets,” Nozzolio said. “The Sampson Veterans Memorial Highway will serve to further memorialize the efforts of our country’s service men and women.” Rick Connors, chairman of the Sampson Veterans Cemetery Association, said veterans and their advocates had been eager for the designation to go through, “We’re really happy with it to go along with the cemetery, [and] some of the older veterans I talked to were really pleased that this was going to happen,” he said shortly after the legislation passed. “Most of them are up in their late 80s and early 90s, and I just think to have this happen to them is something they’ve looked [forward] to for years, to be honored.”