LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas on Thursday joined friends and family of Marine Lance Cpl. Ryan Burgess at an unveiling ceremony to dedicate a new memorial highway named in Burgess’ honor.
“I want to thank everyone who came out to remember Lance Corporal Burgess as a dedicated and fearless American hero and to help us express our deep appreciation for his service and sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “Ryan loved his family and his country and gave his life protecting our freedom and way of life. This memorial highway will be a lasting tribute to a native son who never returned home and will never be forgotten.”
In March, the governor signed Public Act 52 of 2018 to declare 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” in recognition of Burgess, who was killed by an improvised explosive device in Iraq in December 2006.
The ceremony at the Midland County Road Commission in Sanford dedicated one of two signs that will designate the memorial highway. The signs were installed on U.S. 10 on Thursday.
Burgess’ mother Kim Burgess spoke about her son to start the ceremony.
“I needed to do this for Ryan so that people could remember his sacrifice,” Burgess said. “I want to thank Senator Stamas for his yearlong effort to make this all possible.”
Stamas, Ryan Burgess’ sister Lindsey Elias, a Burgess high school friend, and the family’s casualty assistance calls officer also spoke.
“The turnout for this ceremony illustrates the community’s appreciation for Burgess’ service and their continued support of his family,” Stamas said.
The memorial highway will 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 highway only when sufficient private contributions are received to completely cover the cost of erecting and maintaining the markers.
Editor’s note: The above photograph is available by clicking on the image or by visiting www.SenatorJimStamas.com/Photowire.