Joe Sadlier of Ketchikan Among Recipients
Governor Honors Veterans At Wasilla Wall of Honor
November 13, 2002
Wasilla - Marking Veterans Day for his last time as Governor, Tony Knowles stood before the Veterans' Wall of Honor on Monday, in full view of Mount POW-MIA, and honored the sacrifices of the men and women who served their country and the State of Alaska by serving in the military.
"As we reflect upon the names - really the lives of the men and women whose names are chiseled into the stone behind me here - we must never forget that our freedom has been
Knowles recognized the Vietnam Veterans of America and Bill Kelder for organizing this year's event, and the contributions of Alaska Native veterans, women vets, and Canadian forces that served in Alaska during World War II. He thanked the work of Steve Sweet, director of the Vet Center and member of the Alaska Veterans Advisory Council, who served in the Navy, Air Force, and is still active as a Major in the Army National Guard. Knowles also remembered Major General Lars Johnson, who rebuilt the Alaska National Guard after World War II. Johnson died last week in Washington.
"Remarkable men and women of achievement have stories of sacrifice and service that need to be told and re-told. The telling of these stories gives recognition, thanks, and inspiration, " Knowles said. "Veterans' stories don't end when they muster out. Later in life as civilians, when the warrior spirit is reawakened, no one is more committed to a cause than the veteran. With a mission, no one is more motivated than a veteran to serve their community."
Knowles announced this year's Veterans Advocacy Awards that are given to those who go above and beyond in their volunteer efforts on behalf of veterans and veterans issues. This year's awards were given to Joe Sadlier of Ketchikan, Linda Boisseau of Fairbanks, and to the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club of Alaska Chapter D in Anchorage.
Linda Boisseau is a former Air Force combat nurse in Vietnam who now avidly advocates for veterans' needs in various veterans' organizations, raises funds for auxiliaries, and volunteers as a Service Officer.
The Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club is noted for their "Fallen Warrior" ceremony that they conduct numerous times every year on days of veterans' remembrance and recognition, and for conducting a special tribute to Vietnam veterans each year at the State Veterans Memorial at Byers Lake.
Knowles reflected on the accomplishments on behalf of Alaska's 65,000 veterans that occurred over the past eight years.
For his many accomplishments to bring respect, recognition, and benefits to veterans, Knowles has received the VFW Silver Medal of Merit, the Legion Plaque of Appreciation, and the Chapel of Four Chaplains Legion of Honor Award.
The governor appealed for full support for America's men and women in uniform as our nation mobilizes for war in the Middle East. "We pray for wise decisions by our President and other national and international leaders so that our cause is just, our sacrifice meritorious," Knowles said. He concluded his remarks by again remembering and thanking those who answered the call to serve their country.
are crucibles for each generation. Times when we're called to
the fore to stand together, resolved, and determined," Knowles
reflected. "Such has been the case since September 11, 2001.
I believe that every Alaskan I've seen or met during the past
15 months has stood taller, with a sense of resilience, and readiness
to do whatever we're called upon to do to keep our families safe,
and our land secure. We've closed ranks, drawn together, and
demonstrated a true sense of unity, compassion, and patriotism.
We've kept the faith with so many who've done so much to get
us to this place."
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