LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, and the Michigan Senate conducted a special ceremony on Thursday that honored our fallen military members, with special recognition of those from Michigan who had lost their lives during the past year.
“It’s impossible not to feel especially blessed to live in America after events such as this where we honor the brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” Sen. Colbeck said. “Those who give their lives in defense of our freedoms leave behind family members who will forever be affected by their loss, and all of us will forever be in their debt.”
The ceremony was the 23rd Annual Memorial Day Service in the Michigan Senate, which was first held due to the initiative of former State Senator and U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers. This year, Sen. Colbeck introduced the service’s keynote speaker, Major General Gregory Vadnais. Major Gen. Vadnais is the Adjutant General of the Michigan National Guard and the Director of Military and Veterans Affairs for Michigan. Both the Michigan Army and Air National Guard are under his command, featuring a total of 159 units. Major Gen. Vadnais was also the Commander for Joint Task Force-Cyclone in response to Hurricane Katrina, which provided command and control of the over 14,000 Soldiers and Airmen that were deployed in Mississippi.
“All the freedoms we so vigorously protect, to be passed on to our future generations, are a direct result of the sacrifices of our fallen military members,” Sen. Colbeck said. “There is never a way to completely honor their memories and truly thank their families enough, and we must ensure that this national day of remembrance never devolves into just another routine holiday.”
Sen. Colbeck, who has organized the event for the past several years, said it is his hope that the Senate tradition will continue indefinitely.
Video of the ceremony can be viewed here: https://misenate.viebit.com/player.php?hash=yVxXyfGsoS0G
Editor’s note: For a print-quality version of this and other Sen. Colbeck photos, click the image or visit www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com and click Photowire on the lower left-hand side of the home page.
Photo caption: Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, welcomed Major General Gregory Vadnais to the Michigan Senate for the 23rd Annual Senate Memorial Day Service on May 25. Major Gen. Vadnais is the Adjutant General of the Michigan National Guard and the Director of Military and Veterans Affairs for Michigan.