Burgess parents testify on memorial highway bill

 Stamas bill would designate ‘Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Burgess Memorial Highway’

LANSING, Mich. — The parents of Marine Lance Cpl. Ryan Burgess testified on Thursday in support of Sen. Jim Stamas’ legislation to permanently honor Burgess, who was killed by an improvised explosion device in Iraq in December 2006.

“Lance Corporal Ryan Burgess was a talented Marine and a dedicated patriot who loved his family and his country,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “Burgess made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of freedom and our way of life. The people of Sanford and the entire region were deeply saddened by his loss. This measure is a way for us to express our appreciation for his service.”

Senate Bill 481 would designate a portion of US-10 in Sanford as the “Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Burgess Memorial Highway.”

Burgess was a graduate of Meridian High School. He served as a vehicle commander and squad leader and was serving his second tour in Iraq at the time of his death. His marksmanship skills during boot camp earned him the Expert Rifle Marksmanship Badge. These skills were called upon during his tours in Iraq, as he often served as a sniper.

“It is important for our country to remember and honor the courage, dedication and sacrifice of heroes like Ryan,” Stamas said. “This memorial highway will be a reminder to the entire community of the life of a native son who never returned home.”

After hearing from Jon and Kim Burgess, the Senate Transportation Committee approved the bill, which now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

The bill would have no fiscal impact on the state or local government. Under state law, the Michigan Department of Transportation can place markers indicating the name of a memorial bridge only “when sufficient private contributions are received to completely cover the cost of erecting and maintaining those markers.”

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Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorJimStamas.com/Photowire.