For many, the Fourth of July, or Independence Day if you prefer, conjures up thoughts of cookouts, a relaxing day at the beach and, of course, fireworks. It is also a time to recognize the sacrifices made by the men and women of our Armed Forces. This year, we also honor the service of thousands of unsung military heroes and the patriots that work tirelessly to make sure their contributions to our freedom are not forgotten.
Under a canopy of towering trees, on a tiny plot of land at the corner of Milford and Eleven Mile, thousands of fallen are remembered. Weathered concrete memorials glow under the midday sun as the gentle sounds of our Nation's flag and the rustling leaves drown out the passing traffic. Granite plaques and bronze statues pay homage to the over two thousand heroes buried here. Established in 1936, the cemetery had long been forgotten until a group of volunteers discovered it in 2010 and brought it back to its former grandeur. One of just a few memorials in the United States that offers internment for our four-legged veterans, the War Dog Memorial in South Lyon, Michigan stands as a fitting memorial to these canine heroes.
Due to Federal regulations, service dogs are not allowed to be buried in our National Cemeteries and the State of Michigan lacks any established memorial cemetaries for Police K-9’s. So we salute the volunteers of the Michigan War Dog Memorial for restoring this important piece of American history and for giving these well trained and loyal canines a final resting place with honors and our gratitude.