Veterans Day observed in Juneau

Tim Armstrong reads a statement from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shinseki during Monday’s Veterans Day observance. Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO News

U.S Coast Guard Color Guard presents the colors during Monday’s event. Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO News

Veterans salute the flag during the Pledge of Allegiance and playing of the national anthem. Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO News

Governor Sean Parnell speaks during Veterans Day observances at Centennial Hall on Monday. Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO News

Opening prayer and closing benediction is made by Chaplain Kirk Thorsteinsen during Veterans Day observances at Centennial Hall on Monday. Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO News

Kathleen Wayne performs Star Spangled Banner and God Bless America during Veterans Day observances at Centennial Hall on Monday. J. Allan McKinnon accompanies her on piano. Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO News

Commander Dick Hand presents a certificate to Sean Goertzen for his volunteer service to the Auke Bay American Legion Post 25. A certificate was also prepared for Dr. Richard Welling who organized a group of volunteers to help with work at the post building. Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO News

A chair is purposely left empty to recognize prisoners of war and those missing in action. Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO News

Veterans pose for photographs with Governor Sean Parnell after Veterans Day observances at Centennial Hall on Monday. Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO News

This year’s Veterans Day observances at Centennial Hall on Monday featured remarks by Governor Sean Parnell and special presentations to those who’ve volunteered at the American Legion Auke Bay Post 25.

“We are here today to use honor as a verb and to give honor,” said Parnell.

To those of you who have served and have lived beyond yourselves for us, we’re here to give thanks, to say ‘thank you’ because you and many before you as patriots understand that our freedom is not free. And you have paid a high price for it. Our families have paid a high price for it.”

American Legion Post 25 Commander Dick Hand presented awards to Sean Goertzen and Dr. Richard Welling who’ve volunteered their time and equipment, or helped organize volunteer work parties.


Amercian Legion Post Commander Dick Hand noted the absence of post member and CBJ Assemblymember Randy Wanamaker who has also helped with renovations at the building. Wanamaker is in Hudson County, New Jersey where they will dedicate the U.S.S. Juneau Memorial Center on Wednesday. It’ll be U.S.S. Juneau Remembrance Day in the town where the ship was built over 70 years ago.

“We have a proclamation that was signed by the Mayor that is being presented by (Wanamaker) for the U.S.S. Juneau Memorial that is being built back in New Jersey,” said Hand. “So, this is a new memorial that is being done.”

A new memorial to the U.S.S Juneau was dedicated on the Juneau waterfront last year.

It was 71 years ago on Wednesday, November 13th that the U.S.S. Juneau was sunk at the naval battle of Guadalcanal. As many as 600 crewmen and officers immediately lost their lives out of the original crew of nearly 700. Only ten men survived exposure and shark attacks rescued eight days later.

Another Veterans Day observance commemorating Southeast Alaska Native veterans was simultaneously held at the Elizabeth Peratovich Building on Monday morning.