On Thursday, May 26, the Michigan Senate joined with the families of fallen soldiers from across the state and other guests to remember and pay tribute to those who gave their lives defending our country.
“It was a privilege and a distinct honor to join my colleagues in honoring the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” said Colbeck. “There is no greater love than to lay one’s life down on behalf of a friend. Whether we know them personally or not, our freedom is a tribute to many such friends throughout the history of this great nation.”
The Memorial Day Service was held in the Michigan Senate chamber and featured current and former military personnel, representatives from military posts, and families of fallen soldiers throughout the state.
The keynote speaker for the event was a recent inductee to the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame and former World War II B-17 pilot, Dr. John A. Clark, who served in the 100th Bomb Group, 8th Air Force, where he completed 32 missions over Germany during 1944-45.
As part of the ceremony, lawmakers placed folded American flags in a special basket for the two U.S. soldiers from Michigan who lost their lives in the last year.
The service also included several performances, including “Amazing Grace,” by the Kalamazoo Pipe Band; the singing of the National Anthem by Ms. Deborah Drick; the reading of the names of the fallen Michigan soldiers by Sen. Jim Stamas, a U.S. Army veteran; the retirement of colors and the playing of taps by the Department of Michigan Veterans of Foreign Wars’ State Honor Guard; and closing remarks by Sen. Colbeck.
The Michigan Senate held its first Memorial Day Service in 1995 at the initiative of former U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers, who was then a state senator.
Law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to keep our communities safe and respond in times of crisis. They help keep our neighborhoods safe so we can go to school, work and enjoy time with our families. They also spend long hours away from their own loved ones in often dangerous places and situations. Sadly, many of them never return home.
To salute the dedication and sacrifice of law enforcement officers and their families, in 1962 Congress established May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week on which it falls as National Police Week.
It is a time for communities across the country to honor and remember the officers who were killed in the line of duty. It is also a time to reflect on how blessed we are to have such amazing and selfless officers here in Michigan.
The Senate Republicans have worked to increase support for our state and local law enforcement. The Senate’s approved 2016-2017 budget plan dedicates additional funding for public safety and more state troopers.
The debt we owe to fallen officers cannot be fully repaid, but National Police Week offers us a chance to honor their service and sacrifice.
In observation of police week, we encourage you to take a moment to thank our outstanding law enforcement officers for all they do to make our state and communities safe.
Following the B-24 Liberator becoming the official airplane of Michigan, Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, spoke on the Senate floor about the American heavy bomber that became a fixture over the skies during World War II.
The airplane was assembled in Michigan at the famed Willow Run Plant. The famous icon, Rosie the Riveter, was based on an actual woman who worked at the plant building B-24s.
The B-24 Liberator took down 2,600 enemy aircraft and helped hunt down and destroy submarines over the Atlantic and targets in the Pacific.