Veterans Day messages from Alaska's U.S. Congress members
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich:
“As we observe Veterans Day 2013, let us all pause to express our thanks to the few who selflessly stand in harm’s way to guarantee the freedom and security of the many,” he said in a press release.
“Today, we thank those who have served and those currently serving. However, we must remember that our veterans need our appreciation, help, care and commitment 365 days a year. We have promised this, they have earned this and we must never shy away from the task.
“For Alaskans, today is an opportunity to praise Alaska’s servicemen and women, their families who are such a key part of our communities, and the thousands of veterans who have chosen to live in the 49th state.
“Alaskans should be proud that veterans thrive in Alaska communities. With over 77,000 veterans who call Alaska home, our state boasts the highest ratio of veterans per capita in the U.S. at 17 percent.
“Because of this increasing number, Alaskans must ensure our veterans receive the highest quality of services available to them, with the convenience of being accommodated in Alaska. They deserve the best. They’ve earned it.”
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski:
“This Veterans Day, I’d like to thank all of the veterans who have served our country when called upon,” Murkowski said in a press release. “The decision to enter into any military service is not one to be taken lightly, nor is it an easy burden to bear.
“Standing up to serve is something to be commended, something to be respected — and something to be honored by all of us who breathe easier and live freely because of those who have defended us at home and abroad.
“Our veterans connect all Americans — in ways that many may not realize. In Alaska, we have more veterans per capita than any other state. Our veterans are teachers, co-workers, police officers and best friends. They continue serving their communities long after they take off their uniforms. It is in this capacity that they can connect all Americans.
“We saw this most recently when hundreds of Alaskans came and saluted a group of WWII veterans on their Last Frontier Honor Flight, which made its inaugural trip to Washington, D.C., in October. I had the privilege of greeting these veterans at the send-off at Ted Stevens International Airport as they began their trip to our nation’s capital to see the memorial built to honor them and their duty.
“It was incredibly meaningful to share their pride and anticipation of this trip.
“I have been honored to share the stories of Alaska veterans through my monthly ‘Veteran Spotlight’ project. I am inspired as I listen to acts of sacrifice and courage and a willingness to risk everything to defend our country.
“I thank all of our veterans and their families for their selfless gift to our nation — because the spouses and children of our military also serve. All Americans owe you a debt of gratitude for the sacrifices you have made so that we might enjoy the blessings of liberty. While words fall short of expressing our appreciation, we pause to honor and thank you for your service this Veterans Day.”
Rep. Don Young (U.S. Army 1955-1957):
“On Monday, the 11th day of November, we honor the sacrifice and commitment of our nation’s servicemen and women,” Young said in a press release. “Without their service, courage and willingness to lay their lives on the line, the United States would not be the great nation we call home today.
“In Alaska, where more than 20,000 active duty servicemen and women and over 77,000 veterans call home, it’s critically important that we take a moment to reflect on those who defend the freedoms we know here at home and sometimes take for granted. I encourage every Alaskan to take a moment out of their busy schedule this weekend to offer their sincerest gratitude to our veterans.
“I want to personally thank each and every veteran for their service to this great nation. I am eternally grateful for the commitments you’ve made and the sacrifices you’ve faced. May God bless you and your families.”