Gusciora on Naming Route 1 Bridge: “Trenton Makes Heroes” Bridge in Honor of Mercer County’s only Recipient of the Medal of Honor
Trenton, NJ – Assemblyman Reed Gusciora (D-Trenton), honoring the men and women who served in the United States armed services, states that the Trenton-Morrisville Toll Bridge, which runs parallel to the Trenton Makes Bridge, should be renamed to honor the only Medal of Honor recipient that was born in the Capital City, Master Sergeant Fred William Zabitosky. Gusciora noted that the Medal of Honor was created during the American Civil War and is the highest military decoration presented by the United States government to a member of its armed forces. Since the Civil War, there have only been 3,481 recipients and only one has been issued to a Trenton native.
Gusciora intends to introduce a resolution into the NJ General Assembly urging the State to work with the Toll Bridge Commission to change the name of the bridge.
“Sergeant Zabitosky’s actions have always had me in awe. Trenton should be honoring this man, and putting his name on the Trenton-Morrisville Toll Bridge would be a great start,” – reasons Assemblyman Gusciora
Former Hamilton Councilman Vinnie Capodanno agrees.
"Having grown up in a family whose relative (my Uncle Vincent Capodanno) was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism during the Vietnam War, I can tell you this is an incredible way to raise the stature of the City of Trenton.”
The Assemblyman commends the Township of Ewing for their memorial display to Zabitosky last year and feels Trenton, MSG Zabitosky’s birthplace should memorialize his accomplishments as a testament to Trenton’s contribution to American democracy and freedom.
“200 years after Washington crossed into Trenton to swing the tide of the Revolutionary War; the New Jersey capitol is still in the headlines of our nation’s military history,” said Gusciora.
Gusciora also noted that MSG Zabitosky had joined the U.S. Army after a difficult time in school and then received the highest recognition for valor in combat.
“In addition to increasing the stature of Trenton as a city that makes “Hero’s” this recognition can serve as a symbol to what all Trenton youth can aspire to, even if they pass through difficult times in their childhood.”
ACTIONS OF MSG FRED ZABITOSKY
RECIPIENT OF CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR
“Fred Zabitosky was a distinguished veteran who earned our nation’s most prestigious military honor through an ambush during the Vietnam War,” said Gusciora. “The Trenton native rallied his team members, deployed them into defensive positions, and exposing himself to concentrated enemy fire, directed their return volley. At all times, Fred defended his men in the truly patriotic, Trentonian spirit.
Gusciora also noted that MSG Zabitosky then directed his team to a helicopter-landing zone. He provided covering fire so that the other soldiers could mount their escape. But once in their escape craft, the U.S. Army veteran illustrated his true, unequivocal bravery. Their helicopter went down under a hail of bullets.
According to the historical record relating to the Medal of Honor, MSG Zabitosky was then thrown from the craft as it spun out of control and crashed. After recovering consciousness, he ignored his injuries and moved to the flaming wreckage. Heedless of the danger of exploding ordnance and fuel, he pulled the severely wounded pilot from the searing blaze and made repeated attempts to rescue his patrol members but was driven back by the intense heat. Despite his serious burns and crushed ribs, MSG Zabitosky carried the unconscious pilot through a hail of enemy fire to within 10 feet of a hovering rescue helicopter before collapsing.