Our Nation is Ever Grateful - Senator Murkowski’s Memorial Day Message

Washington, D.C.— Senator Lisa Murkowski today offered the following statement in observance of Memorial Day:

Click image to watch video 

“This Memorial Day, let us pause and take a moment to reflect on the brave men and women of our armed services who have chosen to serve our great country. I call upon Alaskans across the state to thank those who have served and to always remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of our freedoms.

“Memorial Day is a solemn occasion, but it is also a beautiful one. Solemn because we remember the veterans who died serving our country, preserving our freedoms, and beautiful because generations today honor those who died and bring new life to the memories of those who gave their lives.

“Memorial Day began in remembrance of those who fought and died in the American Civil War nearly 100 years before Alaska statehood –– but even in our territorial days we had Alaskans fighting on our own soil against foreign enemies – one of the few states that can say such a thing. 

“It was 70-years-ago this month that the resilient soldiers of the US 17th Infantry landed on the beaches on Attu Island to retake the American soil from thousands of foreign enemies. So often forgotten and dismissed in American history, the 19 day Battle of Attu proved to be a pivotal moment in American history, and marks the last battle between warring nations in North America. Last summer, I was honored to travel to Attu with the Coast Guard Admiral Tom Ostebo, where we dedicated a permanent memorial for the sacrifices of some of Alaska’s remarkable soldiers.

“From the soldiers of Attu, to the members of the Alaska Territorial Guard, to our veterans from past conflicts across the globe, we stand proud and remember our nation’s sons and daughters who no longer stand with us, but whose names and memories are a testimony to this nation’s commitment to freedom.

“We must remember the price that we pay for freedom, and today we honor the generations that have come before us, and what they have sacrificed. The sacrifices made at Gettysburg, the Argonne Forest, Iwo Jima, Inchon, Khe Sanh, Kuwait, Baghdad and the villages near Kabul – we will always remember.

“As we join in unity to honor our fallen soldiers, let us celebrate that we are a free nation, a proud nation, a nation guided by principles and universal truths. Our nation is ever grateful.”