Sgt. Travis Mills to address Michigan Senate

State Sen. Mike Green on Thursday announced Vassar native Army Sgt. Travis Mills will be the keynote speaker at the 19th annual Memorial Service in the Michigan Senate.

The ceremony is held every year to remember and honor Michigan residents who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation while serving in the armed forces during the previous year. This year’s service is scheduled for Thursday, May 23 at 10 a.m. in the Senate chamber of the Capitol in Lansing.

“The Senate Memorial Service is a somber and humbling event,” said Green, R-Mayville. “I can think of no one better to lead us in honoring and remembering his fallen colleagues than Sergeant Mills. He inspires in all of us the utmost pride in the men and women who serve our nation, past and present.”

The service begins with the Senate coming into session, followed by the presentation of colors and a bagpipe processional entrance. Veterans post flag bearers from all around the state then march into the chamber with their local colors.

After the singing of the national anthem, the keynote speaker – usually a veteran or a family member of a fallen military service member – begins his or her remarks. The speech is followed by the calling of the name of every soldier, sailor, airman and marine from Michigan who gave their life during the previous twelve months. A flag is placed for each one in a memorial basket as their name is called. “Taps” is played after all names have been called. The Michigan National Guard Honor Guard then escorts the flags out of the chamber. The ceremony is concluded by the bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace” during a processional exit of all veterans groups in attendance.

The ceremony is open to the public. However, space in the Senate gallery is very limited. Individuals unable to attend may view the event live on the Internet at www.senate.michigan.gov.

Local veterans posts interested in participating can sign up by contacting the office of Sen. John Pappageorge, a retired Army colonel who organizes the event, at (517) 373-2523 or senjpappageorge@senate.michigan.gov.