Alaskans, we are so closely tied to the sea.
Among our coastal communities and upon these waters, so much of our life story gets written. Our fishermen and women, deckhands, ferry workers, pilots, sailors, and mariners of all kinds--indeed, all of us who live here, have a shared history and common bond--with the sea.
Abundant, bountiful waters, but also oceans of sadness.
And in part, that is why we gather--as a memorial, to rekindle memories, and to share the burden of loss together.
A loss borne individually is too great, but, by God's grace, a burden shared can be endured.
So, to those of you who have lost a family member, a friend, or a colleague to the sea, including a close friend and colleague of mine, we want you to know that we care for you and stand with you to honor the memory of your loved one.
We're also here to say and pray a blessing upon the fleet. It's about seeking more mercy and safety while upon these waters. And, it's about our hearts of thanksgiving and prayers for more abundance from them.
Thank you for sharing this blessing of the fleet and fishermen's memorial as a coastal community--writing the story of our lives together with these waters. Thank you, and God bless.