On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 2008, my stepson and I attended the Annual Veterans Day Ceremony at Centennial Hall.
The ceremony was beautiful and the veterans were so humble themselves, but so proud of each other at the same time.
A great veteran, John Wilkins, was named the Governor's Veterans Advocacy Award winner for the great service he has provided, and the awesome folks who attended the ceremony showed their appreciation not only for Wilkins, but for all the veterans present, around the world, and passed away.
But here's what I truly want to say: The turn-out to recognize our veterans was a shame. Shame on you, Juneau. Every state, federal and most city employees had the day off to recognize and pay tribute to the brave men and women of the military who have put their lives on the line for us and those who gave their lives for us. Did they show up for the Veterans Day ceremony? The answer to the rhetorical question is no, they did not.
So I make this plea to the citizens of Juneau: Next year, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, please join me in attending the brief but very meaningful Veterans Day ceremony. Everyone can take one hour from their day to show support and say, "Thank you for my freedom." Thank you to the men and woman of the U.S. Coast Guard who attended, other guests, and a very, very big thank you to all of our veterans.