March 19, 2021 (Anchorage, AK) – Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has proclaimed today, March 19, 2021, as “Iditarod Appreciation Day” in Alaska and issued the following remarks:
WHEREAS, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is an Alaskan tradition and source of pride for Alaskans from Ketchikan to Utqiagvik; and
WHEREAS, this annual event commemorates the incredible strength of purpose and endurance of each musher and dog sled team who struggled through extreme terrain and weather conditions to transport the lifesaving serum to the city of Nome; and
WHEREAS, what began as a desperate attempt in 1925 to save lives in diphtheria-stricken Nome, has transformed into a memorable tribute each year symbolizing the spirit of Alaska and its people; and
WHEREAS, the Iditarod draws devoted and responsible participants, from all over the world, who must navigate 1,000 miles of unforgiving Alaskan terrain. Exceptional standards of care for both the human and canine members of the sled teams along the route are crucial; requiring skilled organizers, sponsors, and volunteers; and
WHEREAS, despite the challenges throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the planning team and volunteers, in true Alaskan fashion, stepped up to make the Last Great Race on Earth a safe, successful event by purposefully mitigating issues through creative problem solving, resulting in the successful completion of this longstanding icon of Alaskan resilience, persistence, and spirit; and
WHEREAS, now more than ever, it is vital for Alaskans to prove victorious, racing against this new economic and health threat, that has touched all of our lives. We will look to the success and inspiration of the Serum Run as a source of confirmation that our ability to persevere will triumph.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim March 19, 2021 as:
Iditarod Appreciation Day
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans, to embrace the history and significance of this annual event and to congratulate the dedicated volunteers and participants.