Szymanski parents support Stamas’ memorial highway bill

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

“It is importation we always remember that we enjoy the freedom we have today because of patriots like Marine Lance Corporal Szymanski,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “They answered the call to service and made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our way of life. This memorial highway would be a lasting tribute of our deep appreciation for his service and his sacrifice.”

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.

After hearing from Szymanski’s parents, the Senate Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved SB 280, which now heads to the full Senate for consideration.

Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland, has sponsored a similar bill in the House of Representatives.

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