GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.-- A bill allowing businesses to fly an unlimited number of flags honoring fallen military and first responders has passed through the State Senate and is expected to be signed by Governor Rick Snyder in the near future.
This comes after a complaint last year over the size and number of flags outside Brann's Steakhouse off Leonard Street. At the time, it violated a city ordinance. State Senator Jason Wentworth introduced House Bill 6063 after hearing about the issue on the news. The bill passed the State House in early December and was approved in a 38-0 vote in the State Senate on Wednesday.
At Brann's Steakhouse, there are five large flags that hang over the sidewalk with names of fallen heroes from West Michigan.
"When I see his name up here it shows me that our boy is around, he's still around," says John Burri, the father of Eric Burri, an army specialist who was killed in Iraq in 2005.
"Having that sign up there and Eric's name here and there it makes me proud and it puts me at peace knowing that he's not going to be forgotten," Burri tells FOX 17. "Our grandsons will know who their uncle Eric was and they'll be able to be proud of that man that he had become."
Burri was in Lansing last week advocating for House Bill 6063.
Johnny Brann, the owner of Brann's Steakhouse, is known for his support for law enforcement and military members. He says he is confident the governor will give the bill its final approval.
"I'm really, really happy, but who I'm happy for is our fallen hero families and the fallen heroes," Brann tells FOX 17. "It isn't about me, it never was. It's about the fallen heroes' families and I just get so emotional for them because it means so much to them. I'm just glad they're going to be up for them."
Burri says he's glad that someone complained about the flags last February, saying it brought the community together. He adds the flags are a constant reminder of his son and the sacrifices he made.
"He's still with us because his names out there, he's not being forgotten, and it makes me proud," Burri says. "It makes so proud and so thankful. I'm just so thankful to know that when my time on this earth is done, my son's name is going to be out there to remember these men gave their all for strangers, they gave their all for our country."