Senate approves Szymanski memorial highway bill

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved Sen. Jim Stamas’ legislation to permanently honor Marine Lance Cpl. Steven Szymanski, who was killed while on duty during a training exercise at Fort Bragg, North Carolina in 2014.

“This measure is a way for us to express our deep appreciation for the service and sacrifice of Lance Corporal Steven Szymanski,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “Steven was a dedicated Marine who answered the call to service and made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country. The purpose of creating this memorial highway is to honor the memory of a native soldier who never returned home and remind us all about the true price of freedom.”

Senate Bill 280 would designate a portion of U.S. 10 from Jefferson Avenue to Bay City Road in Midland as the “Marine Lance Corporal Steven J. Szymanski Memorial Highway.”

Szymanski was a 2008 graduate of Midland High School. After earning his associate degree in criminal justice, Szymanski enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 2013. He is survived by his parents, John and Dawn, and sister Ashlie.

Last week, Szymanski’s parents spoke before the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in support of the bill, which now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

SB 280 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 highway only “when sufficient private contributions are received to completely cover the cost of erecting and maintaining those markers.”