Positive picketers line Veterans Memorial Bridge to honor those who served

Published: Nov. 11, 2020 at 5:02 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - The Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) partnered with the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce to host a Veterans Day “positive picketing" event on Wednesday, November 11th at the Veterans Memorial Bridge in downtown Fairbanks.

Eliciting supportive honks from passersby, the picketers showed their support for the holiday’s honorees, waving signs from noon to 1 p.m.

Borough Mayor Bryce Ward explained, “Veterans Day is the day that we set aside as a community and a nation to come together and give thanks for all those that have served, and that’s what we’re doing today. We just want to say thank you.”

According to Ward, some indoor events were cancelled as a result of the pandemic. “We were talking about different options and things that we could do to say thanks to our community, and to remember Veterans Day, and not let it just pass by despite the pandemic.”

Marisa Sharrah, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Fairbanks Chamber of Commerce, echoed Ward’s statement, saying that with the cancellation of indoor events, “We were just trying to come up with something that we could do to show our appreciation to the veteran community in Fairbanks.”

According to Sharrah, the lunch hour was picked for the time of the event knowing that it would involve higher traffic levels. "It’s just been really great to see people’s faces light up as they drive by. We’ve had several folks drive by that had veteran hats on, so you could see and immediately identify that person as a veteran. Lots of people [were] rolling their windows down and yelling ‘Thank you,’ or ‘You’re welcome.’ "

Sharrah explained that while she has not personally served in the military, “There’s so many important people in my life that have served, and just knowing what their commitment to our country and commitment to their fellow Americans is, it’s an honor, really, to be able to show appreciation to veterans.”

Mayor Ward emphasized that the borough is home to one of the highest per capita numbers of veterans in the state. “We’re deeply patriotic. We love our community, we love our families, we love our veterans.”

“It’s important for our community to recognize that there are so many veterans in our community that are working at the businesses that we patron. They’re coaching our kids in sports and other activities, and they really do play an important role in our community -- so any opportunity we have to thank and appreciate our veterans, especially on Veterans Day, is something that we’re just happy to do,” Sharrah said.

Ward added, “Especially during this time, take a special moment to thank those that you know of that are veterans and to reach out to them.”

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