Governor Sean Parnell issued the following message in light of Christmas and the holiday season.
"While experiencing a few hours of harried gift-hunting, I turned the experience into a more joyful season by thinking of Alaskans and some of what we have to be thankful for.
"We are forever grateful for those who defend us. We honor our military service members, our veterans, and their families for standing strong for our freedom, and for sacrificing so much for us. Thank you!
"We give thanks for those who keep us safe closer to home - our law enforcement community, our firefighters, and all first responders. Thank you!
"As Alaskans, we offer our thanks to those of you who build this state. To the farmers, the contractors, men and women of the trades, and to all who create and build Alaska opportunity through your own Alaska-tough businesses, thank you!
"And, finally, to those of you who bring us together as a people--those who taught us true north when we were young, and who taught us to grow with respect and love for all. We give thanks for our elders and for all seniors; for the moms and dads, the teachers, and for that person who took a moment in their day to hear our concern and address it.
"It really is a season for thanksgiving at Christmas, and these are just a few of the reasons I'm thankful to serve Alaskans who defend us, who build our state, and who give of themselves to point the way for others. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays."