The mom of a fallen Marine is leading the charge to rebuild this veterans monument

Julia LeDoux
May 28, 2020 - 3:34 pm

Kim Burgess

Gold Star mother Kim Burgess lost her son in Iraq.

Now, she’s pledging to rebuild a veteran’s monument that was destroyed when a dam failed in central Michigan on May 19.

“We have had so much destruction in our little town, we need to give this back to our vets,” she said.

These dog tags of the fallen now form a traveling American flag

The Sanford Flagpole Monument was washed away by the Tittabawassee River when heavy rain caused the dam to break last week.      

Burgess said cleanup at the site has already started.

Kim Burgess

“Heavy equipment will have to be brought in to remove debris from the destroyed monument,” she said. “The original field cross has been recovered and is being inspected for damage. All the original flag poles were destroyed.”

The memorial was built two years ago in honor of  Burgess’ son, Lance Cpl. Ryan Burgess and others from the community who have served the nation. Ryan Burgess was killed in Iraq in 2006. 

“Sanford did not have a veterans monument until this one was constructed, giving our veterans a place to go for healing and reflection,” she said.

Burgess has pledged to rebuild the memorial and add an additional flagpole to honor first responders who saved people during the flooding.

A Gofundme page has raised more than $36,000 of its $50,000 goal.   

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