First Lady Ann LePage Encourages Mainers to Thank a Veteran

August 10, 2012

AUGUSTA – On Friday, First Lady Ann LePage posted a new video to Governor Paul LePage’s YouTube channel discussing Maine’s soldiers and veterans, their sacrifices, and their families. She also discusses the recent Maine Silver Star Honorable Service Medal ceremony, which took place at six locations statewide and honored veterans in Maine who have received a Purple Heart award.

The address, approximately three and a half minutes long, is part of a larger effort from First Lady LePage to acknowledge and support Maine soldiers and veterans. In the video, she specifically requests Mainers take a moment out of their day to thank a veteran for the sacrifices they make to defend our freedom and liberties. The full transcript of the video is as follows:

Hello, I’m First Lady Ann LePage. I wanted to speak to you today about some very special people. These people are your family members, your friends and your neighbors. That of course, is enough to make them special to you, but what makes them heroes to all of us, is their service. I am speaking today about our veterans.

My top priority is to honor our service men and women. The sacrifices they make every day, for you and me, are a reminder of what makes Maine and this nation proud, free, and strong. Those sacrifices are as diverse as the people themselves. A mom who says goodbye to her children as she heads off for duty; A dad who leaves behind his family that must become even stronger while he is away; individuals who travel the globe to secure our freedom, ensuring that all of us back home can live our lives in peace.

Sadly, there are times when we have glaring reminders of sacrifice. Those who gave their lives for their country, and those who are wounded in battle and must live with the scars while maintaining their sense of family and community with dignity.

In this country and in this state, we recognize those who have died and those who have been wounded in battle with the Purple Heart. The original Purple Heart, then called the Badge of Military Merit, was established by George Washington in 1782. These medals are given to veterans and family members as a small token of the American people’s appreciation of their courage. Here in Maine, since that awful day of September 11th, 2001, 335 Purple Hearts have been awarded, including 38 who were killed in action.

The Governor and I continue to keep these individuals in the hearts and minds of all Mainers by further recognizing their sacrifice. On Tuesday, August 7th in the Hall of Flags of the State House, we held the Silver Star Awards Ceremony. The Silver Star Honorable Service Medal is a special award given by the State of Maine to Maine veterans who have received a Purple Heart. We were proud to welcome veterans going as far back as World War II. To meet them, to be with them, and to see their continued pride in their service was such a wonderful honor. Silver Star ceremonies will continue throughout the state as we reach out and truly thank those Mainers who put country ahead of Self, and in doing so, earned their way into the hearts of all of us.

I know we all have busy lives with work, school and spending quality time with our family and friends. But I want to ask you to please take some of that time and thank a veteran. You’ll see them in uniform at the malls and at the airports; you’ll see special license plates recognizing their service; and you’ll see reunions in your own neighborhood when that man or woman, son or daughter, comes home into the open arms of loved ones. Take just a moment to say thank you. Thank you for your service, thank you for your courage, and thank you for your honorable decision of serving in this nation’s military. Our state and our country are stronger because of you, and we’ll never forget the sacrifices you have made that allow us the freedoms we enjoy every day.

God bless our troops, God bless the State of Maine, and God bless the United States of America. Thank you.

To see the video, click here

For more information on First Lady LePage, click here