Schuitmaker invites local veterans and Southwest Michigans own Laura DeRoo to Senates Annual Memorial Day Service

LANSING—The Michigan Senate will hold its 17th Annual Memorial Day Service in the Senate chamber Thursday, May 26, said state Sen. Tonya Schuitmaker.

“I invite Kalamazoo-area veterans to join us in remembering the brave men and women of our armed forces who lost their lives in service to our country,” said Schuitmaker, R-Lawton. “I am honored to be a part of this Senate tradition and welcome local veterans to join us.”

The Blue Star Mothers and Gold Star Mothers will attend along with Laura Deroo, founder and vice president of Chapter 179 of the local Blue Star Mothers group. The DeRoos lost their son, Sgt. Gabriel G. DeRoo, on Aug. 20, 2006, in Mosul, Iraq, while he led a squad on patrol. He was serving his second tour of duty.  As the featured speaker, Laura will speak about the Blue and Gold Star Mothers organization. The Kalamazoo Pipe Band also will attend.

Lawmakers will honor soldiers from their districts who died during the past 12 months. Families who lost loved ones will also be recognized by the Senate.

The Michigan Senate held its first annual Memorial Day Service at the initiative of U.S. Congressman Mike Rogers, who was then a state senator.

Local veterans interested in attending the May 26 ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m., should RSVP to Sen. John Pappageorge, who is coordinating the event, by calling his office toll free at 1-877-SEN-13TH. Veterans who plan on attending should check in at Pappageorge’s office, located in room S-2 on the first floor of the Capitol.