SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Viewpoints: Letters / Opinions

Metlakatla Veterans Memorial Cemetery

By Rep. Dan Ortiz


July 19, 2020
Sunday AM

On Friday, July 10, I had the honor of attending and participating in the virtual Ground Breaking Ceremony of the Metlakatla Veterans Memorial Cemetery. The project was made possible by the joint efforts of the Metlakatla Indian Community; Metlakatla Veterans Association; former Metlakatla Mayors Audrey Hudson, Karl Cook, and current Mayor Reggie Atkinson; the United States Veterans Administration; and U.S. Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski.

Once completed, the Veterans Cemetery will serve as a memorial to Veterans from Metlakatla. Nearly 400 men and women from Metlakatla have served in the U.S. Armed Forces since 1922. In the Vietnam War alone, 61 people from Metlakatla served our country. Metlakatla has the highest percentage of people who have served in the Armed Services per capita of any community in Alaska. The Alaskan Native Community has served in the U.S. Armed Forces at a higher percentage of participation per capita than any other ethnic group within the United States of America, and I am grateful that this cemetery will be a reminder of their sacrifices.

“Since our nation’s founding there has been no greater sacrifices made on our journey to form ‘a more perfect union’ than the sacrifices made by those whom have served in the United States Armed Services,” remarked U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan during the Ceremony.

The Cemetery will also serve as the final resting place for one of Metlakatla’s most decorated soldiers who served as an original member of the U.S. Navy Seals and was awarded a Purple Heart in the process, Sol Atkinson.

Thank you to Mayor Atkinson and the Metlakatla Indian Community for inviting me to participate in such an important and momentous event in the community of Metlakatla.

Rep. Dan Ortiz
Ketchikan, Alaska




Editor's Note:

The text of this letter was NOT edited by the SitNews Editor.

Received July 14, 2020 - Published July 19, 2020

Related Viewpoint:



Representations of facts and opinions are solely those of the writers and do not represent the opinions of Sitnews.


E-mail your letters & opinions to
Your full name, city and state are required for letter publication.

Published letters become the property of SitNews.

SitNews ©2020
Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska

Articles & photographs that appear in SitNews are considered protected by copyright and may not be reprinted without written permission from and payment of any required fees to the proper sources.

E-mail your news & photos to

Photographers choosing to submit photographs for publication to SitNews are in doing so granting their permission for publication and for archiving. SitNews does not sell photographs. All requests for purchasing a photograph will be emailed to the photographer.