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New Bill Would Allow Distinctive USMMA Plates

Legislation authored to recognize service men and women who attended the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.

State Sen. Jack Martins, R-Mineola, sponsored legislation in Albany last week providing for the issuance of distinctive plates for the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.

Introduced at the start of the 2013 legislative session Jan. 9, the bill would act to amend the state vehicle and traffic law and allow the Department of Motor Vehicles to issue plates to USMMA alumni. 

"This legislation will recognize the brave, and often unrecognized, service men and women who attended the U. S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point and offer a small token of appreciation to those who served our country so valiantly," the bill states.

The Merchant Marine Academy, one of the five federal service academies, requires a congressional appointment to attend. It is the only institution authorized to carry a battle standard as part of the color guard, the battle standard perpetuates the memory of 142 Academy midshipmen, who during the course of World War II, lost their lives on supply ships sunk by U-boats.

According to the bill, which currently sits with the transportation committee, the plate will bear the words "U.S, Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point."

The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. John J. Bonacic, R-Mt. Hope.

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