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After flood destroys memorial, fallen soldier's mom promises to rebuild

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With people all over the country Monday remembering veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq is pledging to rebuild a war memorial that was destroyed by a dam failure in central Michigan last week. 

Kim Burgess said she “just sat there and cried” after visiting the scene in Sanford, Michigan. The Sanford Flagpole Monument was washed away by the Tittabawassee River when the Sanford dam failed after heavy rain pounded the region.

Sanford’s Memorial Day parade started and ended at the monument last year. There were seven aluminum flag poles that honored every branch of the military. The poles were designed to hold their ground in strong winds, but not a rare flood.

Burgess’ son, Marine Lance Cpl. Ryan Burgess, was killed in Iraq in 2006. She is promising to rebuild the memorial and add a flag pole to honor first responders who saved people during the flood.

Meanwhile, the owners and operators of two mid-Michigan dams that failed, forcing the evacuation of 11,000 people, are facing a second lawsuit.

The class-action suit was filed Friday against Boyce Hydro and manager Lee Mueller.

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