“We Must Serve Those Who Served Our Nation”

Senator Thanks, Expresses Gratitude, to American and Alaskan Veterans

Senator Lisa Murkowski today offered the following statement in honor of Veterans Day:

“On this Veterans Day of 2012, I thank every single man and woman who has worn the uniform of our armed forces.  When challenges presented themselves to the cause of freedom and liberty around the world, these Americans stepped up and served – often facing dangerous, life-threatening enemies.

“While Veterans Day is certainly a solemn one, where we humbly offer our deep gratitude – it is also an optimistic occasion.  These men and women came home.  These men and women returned to their families, their children, their parents and their communities.  These men and women continue to serve us – sometimes in the military, but also as role models across the country and throughout our state.

“We here in Alaska are particularly blessed, in that we have the highest concentration of veterans of any state in the union.  Nationally, only one percent of Americans serve in the military.  But in Alaska, our veterans make up 10 percent of our population.  More than any other state, we walk alongside our heroes, we work with them on a daily basis, and we know them by their first name.  We embrace them.

“We embrace them through actions like the “Hiring Heroes” event of just last week, and legislation that aims to make it easier for the men and women who risked their lives every day to report to a job.  We embrace them through commemorations like my Veteran Spotlight series, a partnership with the Library of Congress, that attempts to teach everyone an important lesson about loyalty, service and patriotism as seen through the eyes of our veterans.  We seek to deliver security to them – whether through federal support or clothes on their backs – through events like “Stand Down for Veterans,” where veterans are provided a one-stop shop for so many of their needs.  We must serve those who served this nation.

“One of the most important ways we can thank our veterans for what they have done is by asking ourselves what each one of us can do for them.  Whether it’s lending a hand as they take care of  errands, listening and learning from their stories, giving a firm handshake or a warm hug – or just the simple act of saying ‘Thank you.’

“Our veterans know a special truth about America, by living it and risking their lives: that the freedom they fought for and defended is worth the sacrifice of time, energy and commitment – and we should live every day, appreciating all we have: being able to believe, think, speak and dream as only Americans can.

“Thank you for your service.”