Senate honors Michigan’s fallen soldiers during outdoor ceremony

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Tuesday renewed its annual tribute honoring Michigan residents who made the ultimate sacrifice defending America during a special ceremony organized by Sen. Michael D. MacDonald.

“As the Senate had for 25 years before the pandemic caused last year’s ceremony to be canceled, we suspended our session activities and united as Americans to renew our annual Memorial Day tribute,” said MacDonald, R-Macomb Township. “I was honored to carry on this proud tradition of recognizing the men and women who put country before self and protected us at the cost of their own lives. It is also a time to celebrate everything they fought for and died to protect.”

The keynote speaker for the Senate’s 26th Annual Memorial Day Service was retired U.S. Air Force Col. Ken Pratt, founding member and board chairman of the Michigan Armed Forces Hospitality Center, a nonprofit organization that serves veterans, members of the military, and their family members at four Freedom Center locations at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and the Military Entrance Processing Stations in Troy and Lansing.

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II and several senators who are veterans also spoke and participated in the event.

At the beginning of the ceremony, MacDonald introduced students Sophia Marchesi, Kennedy Crouse and Sarah Esquivel from Parkway Christian School in Sterling Heights to perform the National Anthem.

“As we remember those who gave the full measure to preserve our freedom, let us honor them by living our lives in a manner worthy of their sacrifice,” MacDonald said.

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Editor’s note: The above photographs are available by clicking on the images or by visiting https://www.SenatorMichaelMacDonald.com/photos/.

First photo caption: Sen. Michael D. MacDonald, R-Macomb Township, concludes the Michigan Senate’s 26th Annual Memorial Day Service as the Kalamazoo Pipe Band exits to close the ceremony, which honored the state’s fallen soldiers.

Second photo caption: Sen. Michael D. MacDonald, R-Macomb Township, delivers the opening statement of the Michigan Senate’s 26th Annual Memorial Day Service, which honored the state’s fallen soldiers and recognized their families.

Third photo caption: Students Sophia Marchesi, Kennedy Crouse and Sarah Esquivel from Parkway Christian School in Sterling Heights perform the National Anthem during the Michigan Senate’s 26th Annual Memorial Day Service, organized by Sen. Michael D. MacDonald, R-Macomb Township.

Fourth photo caption: Retired U.S. Air Force Col. Ken Pratt delivers the keynote address during the Senate’s 26th Annual Memorial Day Service. Pratt is a founding member and board chairman of the Michigan Armed Forces Hospitality Center, a nonprofit organization that serves veterans, members of the military, and their family members at four Freedom Center locations at Detroit Metropolitan Airport and the Military Entrance Processing Stations in Troy and Lansing.