"These men and women who served in the Alaska Territorial Guard are genuine Alaskan heroes."
- Sen. Huggins
(Anchorage) - Tomorrow Alaskans will observe October 18 as the first designated Alaska Territorial Guard Day (ATG) to commemorate the 6,500 men and women who answered the call to duty when the Japanese invaded Alaska during World War II.
Sen. Charlie Huggins (R - Rural Mat-Su/Chugiak) sponsored the legislation this spring to honor these forgotten Alaskans. "Only 300 Alaska Territorial Guard members are still with us. It's time to set aside one day a year so Alaskans can honor them for the bravery and sense of duty they displayed during Alaska's darkest hour."
The guard was formed in 1942 and made up primarily of Alaska natives. They quickly became invaluable to the U.S. Army as scouts and guides along the state's vast, rugged coastline to protect the state from additional Japanese attacks.
ATG Day gives communities and civic groups the chance to hold ceremonies and observances that honor guard members. Sen. Huggins reminds Alaskans "these men and women who served in the Alaska Territorial Guard are genuine Alaskan heroes."