Burgess memorial highway bill sent to governor

It is important for us to remember and honor the courage and selflessness of heroes like Lance Cpl. Ryan Burgess. Ryan was a dedicated and fearless Marine who loved his family and his country. Unfortunately, he was killed by an improvised explosion device during his second tour in Iraq in December 2006.

As a way for us to remember his loss and express our appreciation for his service and sacrifice, my legislation to permanently honor Ryan is on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed.

Senate Bill 481 will designate a portion of U.S. 10 from N. Stark Road to N.W. River Road in Sanford as the “Marine Lance Corporal Ryan Burgess Memorial Highway.”

Ryan was a graduate of Meridian High School and his parents, Jon and Kim Burgess, spoke before the Senate Transportation Committee in December in support of the bill.

Lance Cpl. Burgess served as a vehicle commander and squad leader and his marksmanship skills during boot camp earned him the Expert Rifle Marksmanship Badge. These skills were called upon during his tours in Iraq, where he often served as a sniper.

This memorial highway will be a reminder of the true cost of freedom and of a native son who never returned home.

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