WHEREAS, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 2941, Alaska Territorial Governor and statesman Ernest Gruening instructed military officers to begin recruiting and enlisting volunteers to form the Alaska Territorial Guard (ATG), which would become the first line of defense in the occasion of an attack on Alaska; and
WHEREAS, the ATG was initially comprised of over 6,000, mostly Alaska Native, volunteers who demonstrated their profound dedication by serving and protecting Alaska during World War II; and
WHEREAS, ATG volunteers patrolled and protected approximately 5,200 miles of rough Alaskan coastline. As many as 15,000 additional Alaskans participated and supported these courageous volunteers; and
WHEREAS, the Territorial Guard continued to serve as soldiers from 1941 to 1947, on a strictly volunteer basis, without pay or official provisions. Their selfless service represented incredible allegiance to their country and families, and demonstrated the essence of the spirit of Alaska; and
WHEREAS, in 2000, Alaska Senator Ted Stevens introduced legislation to formally recognize and distinguish the service of ATG volunteers as active federal service, thereby qualifying them for benefits from the Veterans Administration; and
WHEREAS, by Alaska State Statute, October 18 of each year is designated for honoring the noble service and sacrifice of Alaska Territorial Guard members in defense of Alaska and the United States during World War II.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Michael J. Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim October 18, 2019 as:
Alaska Territorial Guard Day
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to educate themselves on, and acknowledge, the important role the Alaska Territorial Guard members and their families have in our state’s history.