Saluting the heroes of American freedom

Posted: Tuesday, June 06, 2006


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  Veterans offer a 21 gun salute to the fallen defenders of America's freedoms

Bagpiper Steve Adams pays tribute to the fallen at Memorial Day services in Kenai

A large crowd of dignitaries, veterans, and local families, gathered Memorial Day Monday to remember the real meaning of the first holiday weekend of the summer. “While Alaskans are ready to start fishing and hiking in our beautiful state, for those bearing arms in service to America deployed around the world today is just another day at the office, and I feel that it is an obligation for all Americans to do as we are doing here today to pause recognizing that freedom is not free, and remembering those who have served, are serving, and especially those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in honor of our country,” said U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, who came from Washington D.C. to join the local Kenai services held at Leif Hansen Memorial Park in Kenai. Murkowski recognized the opposition to the war and pointed out that troops overseas were working to secure the right to dissent for others around the world.


Veterans post the Colors at Memorial Day services in Kenai

“What especially moved me about the services here in Kenai today was the number of young people who came forward to place poppies on the wreaths of remembrance. It is typical to see the older generation gather, those who have lost a spouse in a war perhaps, but it is unusual to see the young people and to see so many children here today made me feel proud, proud of the people of the Peninsula for honoring and remembering those who have served and those who have fallen. It’s an indication of the resurgence of patriotism that has made this country what it is,” added Murkowski.


The Senator also admitted that it was a heavy obligation serving in the system that so many had died to protect, “It’s a heavy burden, but you do it with respect, pride and honor knowing that as an Alaskan we have so much to contribute to the nation. I take my obligation very seriously.”


Kenai Police Chief Chuck Kopp honors the fallen at Memorial Day services in Kenai

Kenai Police Chief Chuck Kopp spoke boldly about those serving overseas to bring in a new era of peace and democracy in the Middle East and reminded everyone that 2006 marked the fifth Memorial Day that our country has been at war. Quoting British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Kopp said, “The hope of freedom is America’s cause.”


U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski traveled from Washington D.C. to join Kenai residents in saluting all of America's heroes

U.S. Navy Spc. Bryan Stocks, home from Iraq, was the last to speak at the Memorial Day service and painted a different picture of America’s efforts to secure freedom in that country, “It’s not like you see it on TV.


Local residents join dignitaries in remembering those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom

Things are changing and the people are excited for the opportunity to express themselves. I’ve seen an old man walk over 300 yards of barb wire to cast his vote, I was able to help some get to the voting place and they were thankful, they are not as afraid as they were in the first election,” said Stocks. Stocks also thanked the community for their support, the welcome home and the things sent, “Those letters, they’re great! It doesn’t matter if they’re a couple months old it’s like Christmas when they come, they’re the best thing since video games,” he beamed.


Veterans, dignitaries, and local families placed poppies on a wreath in remembrance of America's heroes


Veterans offer a 21 gun salute to the fallen defenders of America's freedoms

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