LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Patrick Colbeck, R-Canton, and the Michigan Senate took part in a special ceremony Thursday in advance of Memorial Day that honored our fallen soldiers, especially those from Michigan who lost their lives in the line of duty.
This year’s upcoming Memorial Day is also special because it commemorates the nation’s 150th anniversary of its occasion.
The keynote presentation was provided by Spc. 5 James McCloughan. McCloughan was awarded the Medal of Honor last year for his heroism in Vietnam as a front-line combat medic. For additional information regarding his valor, click here.
“We are in awe of the heroism displayed by all Medal of Honor recipients, but looking at combat medics puts things into a very special perspective,” said Colbeck. “These are men and women who must frequently alternate between bullets and bandages, and who must charge onto the battlefield focusing on the wounded in front of them instead of the incoming fire being directed their way. They are all very special people, and we were especially honored to have Michigan’s own son, Spc. 5 James McCloughan, here with us today.”
With this year marking the 150th anniversary of Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, the history of the event is also important. In Michigan, the state Senate has held a special ceremony to specifically honor Michigan’s fallen, a tradition started by former U.S. congressman and state senator, Mike Rogers. Colbeck has coordinated the event for the past several years after taking over those duties from former state senator Pappageorge.
“Our freedom, the liberty we dare not take for granted, is an inheritance given to us by those who fought and died to defend it,” Colbeck said. “We owe an enormous debt of gratitude to the heroes who gave their lives and to the families that lost their beloved children. Far from a mere holiday, Memorial Day is a call to action — a call to honor, a call to recognize our blessings, and a call to not disappoint those who sacrificed before us as we carry on the eternal fight against evil.”
The May 24 event was recorded and is available for public viewing by clicking here. Footage from Michigan’s previous Senate Memorial Day services can also be viewed at https://www.senatorpatrickcolbeck.com/memorial-day-service/.
Top photo: Senator Colbeck, R-Canton, (left) and Donald “Woody” Woodworth, a World War II, Korean War, Cold War and Vietnam War veteran from Livonia, stand in the Michigan Senate chamber Thursday after the Senate’s 24th Annual Memorial Day Service. Among his many achievements, Woodworth was awarded the Marines’ highest commendation for non-combat heroism.
Bottom photo: Senator Colbeck, R-Canton, (right) and Pastor Eddie Brown, State Chaplin of the American Legion in Southgate, who gave the invocation at the 2018 Annual Senate Memorial Session.
Editor’s note: The above photographs are available by clicking on the images or by visiting www.SenatorPatrickColbeck.com/photowire.