Sarah Palin addressed a 9/11 rally put together by the Conservative Patriots Group, at the Sports Center in Wasilla, Alaska. The crowd of about 350-400 was there to see among others, Tea Party candidate for Senate Joe Miller, and sort-of surprise guest Sarah Palin. There had been rumors of Palin's attendance for more than a week. Nothing stays secret in Alaska for long.
While she spoke, as during the rest of the program, images of the 9/11 attacks were shown in an endless looping slideshow on a screen behind the podium. Here are Palin's remarks:
The remarks were off the cuff, and only one sentence in her five minute address referenced the tragedy of nine years earlier on 9/11 - never mentioning the towers, or the Pentagon or Flight 93 that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, or the loss of life, or the political fallout of the event here and around the world. Instead we were treated to a hodge-podge of buzzwords and rambling sentences that came out half-formed and chasing their own tails.
Well, I'm sorry I'm late. We had a bunch of kid activities today, and the kids come first, OK, so... we're taking care of that, but first let me ask you - Do you looove your freedom? We do love our freedom so what we do is we think of vets and we have some vets right here and we have vets all over this crowd. Raise your hand if you've served in the past or are presently serving in the United States military. We love you and we salute you! God bless you guys. Thank you guys so much! You're why we are here - why we are free - why we have these protections in our Constitution that only you can secure so we thank our vets. It's just really really good to be home. Tonight I think I'll see some of you at a Glenn Beck event that we have in Anchorage. Woohoo!
I know. What would we do without Fox News? I don't know.
We've had a busy time getting to travel around the United States and share the message of really the reform in this country that we need. The reform it's not a fundamental transformation of America that some would want to instill upon us but it is a restoration of America and the values that we hold so dear. That's been our message. And I tell ya where that springs from though, is the roots here in Alaska. I tell my parents all the time there is no better gift that they could have given me than besides such an appreciation for family and for faith and patriotism, it's been an upbringing in America in this most perfect state in America - Alaska, where we are independent and we have the pioneering spirit that more of America should hopefully get to look into the state and understand and really try to emulate because it's that pioneering spirit that America needs more of.
It's a spirit that really wants to value work ethic and value family and value country and not ask much of government. We just want government on our side. We don't want it against us, we just want it on our side so it's not a lot to ask. But that... that value, that belief, it comes from being an Alaskan. There is no place that I would rather be than with you on a day like this - patriots in Alaska. Patriots here who have taken time out of their day to say that we will never forget 9/11, nine years ago - we will never forget and we all commit to never letting it happen again. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart for not just welcoming me in my home town but for being who you are, true patriots holding on to time tested truths. Knowing that... knowing some basic principles that again, the rest of America can learn from so many Alaskans who believe this - those time tested truths that are based on the government that governs least, governs best. And the knowledge that it's our Constitution that provides the best path - the best blueprint for a more perfect union and the knowledge that our men and women in uniform are a source for good throughout this world and that's nothing to apologize for. So you Alaskans who are so proud to be American, I'm with you. I love you. God bless you and God bless the United States of America. Thank you guys!
~Mentor and mentee - Palin and Joe Miller
Immediately after her remarks, there was a prayer given, and then closing remarks and a song by local singer/songwriter Adele Morgan.During the prayer, ten or fifteen people got up from their seats and crowded around for autographs, which Palin signed. She also spoke to admirers and posed for photographs while the program continued. Most people stayed in their seats and joined the prayer.
After the conclusion, the crowd got up and enjoyed American flag cake, several of which were provided by the Conservative Patriots Group. I made sure to catch up to Wasilla Mayor Vern Rupright who had delivered a well-crafted and thoughtful message about the day, and its place in history. I don't always agree with him, but I like him anyway. And there was no doubt that he had put considered thought and effort into his address to the crowd, and I thanked him.
~Wasilla Mayor Vern Rupright addresses the crowd. Senatorial candidate Joe Miller looks on
Palin continued to sign autographs and pose for pictures as she worked her way out. Later that night she appeared at an event with Glenn Beck at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage.
Video of the speech available HERE.