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Memorial day observed by Senate

By Laura Weber, Michigan Public Radio Network

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wkar/local-wkar-971038.mp3

LANSING, MI – Eighteen servicemen from Michigan were killed in combat in the past year. Michigan Public Radio's Laura Weber sent this audio postcard from the state Senate, where an annual Memorial Day ceremony honors those who have fallen.

"August 20th, 2006, our son, Sergeant Gabriel Glen DeRoo, was killed in combat operations in Mosul, Iraq. That Monday afternoon we were given the message that two soldiers were trying to reach us and please call this number. I can't begin to tell you the terror that that strikes in a parent's heart. We called our daughter in Kalamazoo and told her to meet us at home. Her response was Is it bad mom.' All I could say was It doesn't sound good.' We had a very good idea what we were going to hear, we just didn't verbalize it. The soldiers arrived and grimly gave us the message that Gabriel had been killed in Iraq. My mother asked the question that was on all our hearts; could it possibly have been a mistake. The soldier said, No, ma'am.' I had suddenly become a gold-star mother, and my life would never be the same."

That was Laura DeRoo, the mother of Sergeant Gabriel DeRoo.

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