September 12, 2003
Speaking to hundreds of Alaskans gathered at the Alaska Veterans Memorial on the Delaney Park Strip for the ceremony, the governor recalled the morning two years ago when Alaska and the nation awoke to news of the attacks in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.
"You know, it was a morning very much like this, with a beautiful sunrise, but America was asleep to the threat of world terrorism," Murkowski said. "This is a beautiful day today as well, but today America is awake; America is vigilant; and America stands tall."
The governor said that Alaska remains relatively safe from terrorist attack, and credited the state's office of Homeland Security for working with federal officials to provide protection against known threats.
"But that doesn't mean that our vigilance should be relaxed," Murkowski said. "Our troopers, our police, our fire departments, our medical teams and caregivers, have all stepped up their preparation, their determination and their resolve to be ready if and when they're called upon to respond to any threat or any attack. These are all dedicated Alaskans and other Alaskans are also waiting and willing to be called to duty."
The governor issued a proclamation declaring September 11, 2003 as "September 11th Commemoration Day" in Alaska, which was read to the crowd by Col. Julia Grimes, director of the Alaska State Troopers. Comments were also delivered by Bob Nelson of the Anchorage Veterans Resource Center, Anchorage Police Chaplain Bert McQueen and Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.
Flags around the state were
to remain at half staff throughout the day to honor the September
11 victims, and would remain at half staff through Monday in
memory of Charles F. Herbert, a territorial legislator who passed
away on Sept. 3.