LANSING—The Lakeshore High School marching band from Stevensville performed this week as part of the commemoration in Normandy of the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
“As we all take a moment to remember the heroes who fought and died on the beaches of Normandy 70 years ago, we are tremendously proud of 180 young adults who are representing their state and America at the D-Day remembrances,” said Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I want to commend Director Lori Van Koenig and the Lakeshore band members for representing Southwest Michigan and our country with honor and distinction.
“I also want to thank the community who helped raise the necessary funds to enable them to go overseas and pay tribute to those who sacrificed so much for freedom.”
The band was one of only three U.S. high school bands invited to play in the ceremonies. Its invitation came from the mayor of Sainte-Mere-Eglise, a village liberated by American troops during World War II.
“The most special things about these talented young adults are the steps they are taking to honor Michigan soldiers who perished during the war,” Proos said. “They have flags on their lapels for each one of the men from Michigan who died on D-Day. The band members also carried with them vials of sand from Michigan beaches and are pouring that sand onto the graves of the 700 Michigan heroes who are buried in two Normandy cemeteries.”
Proos said that the students will refill the vials with sand from Omaha Beach and eventually give the vials back to the two dozen schools that helped collect the Michigan sand.
“In recognition of the Lakeshore band’s extraordinary opportunity and their outstanding representation of our community, I will be donating to the school the American flag that flew over the Capitol during their performance in Normandy,” Proos said. “It is a way for the state of Michigan to express our sincere appreciation for the band’s talent and grace.”
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.