"Last night, Alaska lost a hero and I lost a dear friend. The thought of losing Ted Stevens, a man who was known to business and community leaders, Native chiefs and everyday Alaskans as 'Uncle Ted,' is too difficult to fathom. His entire life was dedicated to public service—from his days as a pilot in World War II to his four decades of service in the United States Senate. He truly was the greatest of the 'Greatest Generation.'
"The love and respect that Alaskans of all persuasions feel toward Ted Stevens is on a par with what the American people felt towards leaders such as John F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Ronald Reagan. Ted had the vision of a John Kennedy that Alaskans are an exceptional people who would achieve great things in his lifetime; the compassion of a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in devoting his life to alleviating the Third World conditions that plagued Alaska's Native people; and the unwavering strength of a Ronald Reagan whether fighting for the men and women of our military or for Alaska's right to develop ANWR and its abundant natural resources.
"On this sad and tragic day, we pray for all those who have perished, as well as the survivors and their families. I ask Alaskans to join me today in prayer."