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Speech: Governor Addresses 4/25th Deployment

Governor Sean Parnell

November 29, 2011

This is a glorious moment and a solemn time.

It’s glorious, for as the general said, when we came in we saw just how sharp you look. How fit you look. And yes, how fierce you all look.

Glorious too, because freedom has never been won by spectators, but by men and women -- you, and ones like you, our best soldiers, who live to sacrifice and to honor. For you and your families, we are deeply thankful.

This glorious moment is also a solemn one. Solemn because separation weighs heavily. Solemn for many here who have lost loved ones in service to our country, and many more who have paid that price. So our thankful hearts are tempered by prayers for your safe return.

Major General Palumbo, and all of our distinguished guests, today before us stand Alaska’s finest, Army tough, American strength.

For many of you here, family members, warriors, this is not your first tour. Matter of fact, I have just spoken with some who have been through three.

“This, we’ll defend” is not just a motto. It defines who you are. The enemies of liberty do not rest, and you did not sign up to clock in at 8 and out at 5.

We are honored that you volunteered to serve. Nobody made you do this. You signed up because you’re courageous, you’re committed, and you love this country.

Millions of Americans are proud of your service, and Alaskans are proud to be numbered in them.

We recognize too, that today your families cross into a land of deep abiding. For they walk this warrior trail with you, connected by covenants and courage.

So, to you military family members, I want you to consider Alaskans your extended family. We pledge our support to you every bit as much as to these service members out here. For you, too, give so much to us, and to our nation.

Members of the 4/25th, you are the pride of Alaska. With everything within us, we support you. And, we will rise to the challenge as an Alaska family to meet the needs of your loved ones here.

May freedom’s sword and shield be at work through you, and may God bless and keep you.

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