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Sunday, September 24, 2017
HomeAlaska NewsRepublicans ask Walker to restore ‘Patriot’ to Patriot Day

Republicans ask Walker to restore ‘Patriot’ to Patriot Day

“In its final moments, the plane turned upside down as it passed over rural Western Pennsylvania. At 10:03 a.m., Flight 93 plowed into an empty field at a speed of 563 miles per hour. Upon impact, the 7,000 gallons of jet fuel on board the aircraft exploded, creating a ball of fire that rose higher than the trees.” – Flight 93 Memorial 

The Republican Party of Alaska has asked Gov. Bill Walker to restore the word ‘Patriot’ to the annual Patriot Day proclamation.

In a statement on Sunday night, party chairman Tuckerman Babcock wrote:

“September 11 is a day that is not just commemoration, but a day that proudly honors the patriotism and sacrifice of so many Americans during the heinous attacks on our nation by Islamic extremists.
“So many lives were lost, and our nation has been severely tested in the years that followed, as we have experienced other terroristic attacks.
“The Alaska Republican Party stands for the ideals of diversity and tolerance, 365 days a year.  September 11, Patriot Day, is about honoring those defending American and Alaskan lives from those of evil intent bent on destroying the freedoms we hold dear – and honoring those that died.  Patriot Day is a clarion call of support for our first responders, our troops, and our citizens standing in the gap today, and who stood in the gap then.”
“There is simply no reason to take the “Patriot” out of Patriot Day.  This is a mistake easily mended.”
Gov. Walker signed a proclamation on Sept. 7 designating Sept. 11, 2017 as “September 11 Commemoration Day,” rather than Patriot Day, as it is known elsewhere across the country.
Huddled in the back of the plane, the passengers and crew of Flight 93 made a series of calls on their cell phones and the in-flight Airfones, informing family members and officials on the ground of the plane’s hijacking. When they learned the fate of the three other hijacked flights in New York City and Washington, D.C., the passengers realized that their plane was involved in a larger terrorist plot and would likely be used to carry out further attacks on U.S. soil. After a brief discussion, a vote was taken and the passengers decided to fight back against their hijackers, informing several people on the ground of their plans. One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett Jr., told his wife over the phone, “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger, Todd Beamer, was heard over an open line saying, “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll.” Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and explained that she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words to him were: “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.” – History Channel
On Sunday, Walker issued flag-lowering instructions following the White House directive to bring flags to half-staff on Sept. 11. That notification referred to the day as Patriot Day, but no change had been made to Alaska’s official proclamation as of Sunday night.  That proclamation, released Thursday, attempted to rename national Patriot Day as “Commemoration Day” in Alaska and emphasized “tolerance and diversity” over bravery, sacrifice and patriotism.
Babcock helpfully drafted a revised proclamation for the governor’s consideration:

PATRIOT DAY – SEPTEMBER 11, 2017
State of Alaska

WHEREAS, on September 11, 2001, our nation endured the worst terrorist attack on United States soil, and thousands of innocent people perished; and

WHEREAS, sixteen years later, Alaskans continue to mourn that event and remember those who died in the attack, those who were injured, and those who lost loved ones; and

WHEREAS, courage and bravery were demonstrated that day and in the days that followed by citizens who came to the rescue, and gave their lives to save others, many of whom never returned to the bosom of their families; and

WHEREAS, brave men and women protect our country here and around the world, as do the devoted members of our law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical responders, doctors, nurses, and first responders, and all who serve to keep our nation safe from those who would do violence to us; and

WHEREAS, our nation continues to be threatened by terrorists and extremists, and we must remain vigilant to ensure such an attack never occurs on American soil again; and

WHEREAS, our American freedoms have been curtailed due to these horrific attacks, and freedom is something Alaskans hold dear and the loss of that freedom has caused great sadness; and

WHEREAS, many have made the ultimate sacrifice in defense of our nation since 2001, with many Alaska-based soldiers deploying to fight terrorists abroad, even in this very month the 4-25th Brigade deploying from Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson on a mission that truly began on Sept. 11, 2001; and

WHEREAS, throughout Alaska and the nation, Americans will perform acts of charity, community service, and will pray for the comfort and solace for those who lost family members on Sept. 11, 2001;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Bill Walker, governor of the State of Alaska, do hereby proclaim Monday, Sept. 11, 2017 as Patriot Day and a Day of Service and Remembrance across the Great State of Alaska.

I call upon Alaskans to begin their day with a moment of silence to honor those who were victimized on Sept. 11, 2001 in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C., and I encourage them to do good works today to build a strong sense of community and resiliency throughout our state.

In accordance with national Patriot Day and the National Day of Service and Remembrance,
I direct all the flags of the United States of America and the State of Alaska to be flown at half-staff, from sunrise to sunset, at all public buildings, installations, and grounds throughout the State of Alaska on Monday, September 11, 2017. I encourage Alaskans to display the National and State flags at half-staff in observance of Patriot Day.

SIGNATURE OF BILL WALKER_____

Respectfully submitted by Tuckerman Babcock, Chairman, Alaska Republican Party

Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

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