Lakeshore band thanks Michigan National Guard, legislators for help with trip to Normandy

LANSING—Stephanie Bauchet recently represented the Stevensville Lakeshore High School marching band in Lansing to present a special plaque and vial of Omaha Beach sand to the Michigan National Guard in appreciation of its help in making possible the band’s trip to Normandy in June.

The band was one of only three U.S. high school bands invited to perform in Normandy as part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

Maj. Gen. Gregory J. Vadnais, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, commands the Michigan Army and Air National Guard and accepted the tribute on Sept. 4 at a ceremony held at the Joint Forces Headquarters in Lansing. 

Bauchet and her father, Eric Bauchet, who acted as the director of the school’s 70th anniversary of D-Day project, also thanked Sen. John Proos and other elected officials for their support and presented them with a vial of sand from Omaha Beach.

“I am tremendously proud of the Lakeshore High School band members and their supporters for representing Southwest Michigan and our country with honor, distinction and grace during the D-Day remembrances,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I am also proud of the community and the National Guard who helped support these fine young adults and enable them to realize the once-in-a-lifetime chance to represent their county overseas in tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for freedom.”

While in Normandy, band members wore flags on their lapels for each Michigan resident who died on D-Day and carried with them vials of sand from Michigan beaches. The sand was poured onto the graves of the 700 Michigan heroes buried in two Normandy cemeteries and the vials were refilled with sand from Omaha Beach.

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Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Proos will be available on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Audio” under the Media Center tab.