Burgess memorial highway bill sent to governor

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

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas’ legislation to permanently honor U.S. Marine Lance Cpl. Ryan Burgess is on its way to the governor’s desk to be signed.

“Lance Corporal Ryan Burgess was a dedicated and fearless Marine who loved his family and his country,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “While protecting our freedom and way of life, Burgess made the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq in 2006. The people of Sanford and the entire region were deeply saddened by his loss. This measure is a way for us to remember that loss and express our appreciation for his service to America.”

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

Burgess served as a vehicle commander and squad leader and was serving his second tour in Iraq when he was killed by an improvised explosion device in December 2006. 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.

Burgess 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.

“It is important for us to remember and honor the courage and selflessness of heroes like Lance Corporal Burgess,” Stamas said. “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 the 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.”