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Best selfie of the month: Senator helping to raise totem pole


U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan paused while helping to raise a totem pole last week, and took a selfie photo. The photograph of him taking the selfie is priceless and was provided by Johnny Rice, who attended.

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The pole, being raised in Klawock on Aug. 18, is known as the “Veterans Totem Pole,” and was carved by U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Native carver Jonathan Rowan. It’s now in place by the boat ramp.

Aaron Isaacs Jr. helped foster the project, which honors the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and those missing in action. The pole, which may be the first to honor veterans, was 30 years in the making, with Isaacs raising over $60,000 from multiple private donors, pancake feeds, as well as the Department of Defense.

Veterans with ties to Southeast were invited to attend and began arriving in Klawock last week to take part in the ceremonies around the raising of the pole.

(Courtesy Sen. Lisa Murkowski)

The pole depicts, among other things, a Vietnam War-era U.S. Army soldier with a pack of Lucky Strike cigarettes poking out of his helmet. It also has a representation of the U.S. flag given to families at a the funeral of a veteran.

To see the pole being pulled into an upright position, watch the video here:


Suzanne Downing
Suzanne Downing
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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