Traveling down Michigan’s highways I see a lot of brown memorial signs. Some are in honor of veterans of past wars and others are names of individuals who gave the last full measure of devotion. Most of the time I do not recognize the name on the sign but the name on the sign along M-116 at the entrance of Ludington State Park I recognized.
On September 9, 2013, Tpr. Paul K. Butterfield was shot and killed while making a traffic stop in Mason County. I never met him but his death stands out to me not because it was a violent tragedy but because of where he came from and who he was. He grew up in Bridgeport which is next to my hometown of Saginaw. At the time of his death, my son was running cross country in School. Paul Butterfield won the 1988 Michigan state championships and knowing how dedicated you have to be for an accomplishment like that he must have been an incredible person.
A sign along the highway is not enough to honor fallen heroes, but it is good that they will be remembered, even if it is for a split second as we travel around this beautiful state. Hopefully, when you see a sign in memory of someone it will make you wonder about the sacrifices they have made.
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