The forget-me-not is an official symbol of the State of Alaska. It is tiny, but prolific. There are many meanings associated with the delicate blue blossom. Those meanings seem especially poignant at this moment. Let me share four of those meanings with you now.
Meaning One: True and undying love. Alaska has provided beauty, comfort, and prosperity for generations. For some it is time immemorial. For others it is a few generations or perhaps a few years. Let me ask you this: Is your love for Alaska larger than your need for personal gain – whether financial, political, or otherwise? In these times of relative scarcity, have we forgotten how much Alaska has given us? Can we rise above our differences to find a path of true and undying love for the place that has given us so much?
Meaning Two: A connection that lasts through time. Many people, past and present, have no intention of remaining in Alaska for their entire lives. After leaving, most say that their time in Alaska left an indelible mark on their lives –unforgettable places, exceptional experiences, larger than life characters, and cherished memories. Whether your intention is to stay forever or just a while more, is your connection with Alaska strong enough to transcend time? Can we look beyond the difficulties of today and cling to the connections that bind us together as Alaskans?
Meaning Three: Fidelity and loyalty in a relationship, despite separation or other challenges. Alaska is facing tough times, but these are not the most challenging times we’ve ever faced. We’ve seen and survived far worse. This current challenge is one of our own making – not a natural disaster or negligence by Outsiders – this is us. This is about our ability to come together and forge our future. To stop putting off what needs to be done. To admit that we’ve had it pretty darn good, but now’s the time to start adulting as a state. Can we grow up and forge a faithful and constant allegiance to our state?
Meaning Four: Caring for the poor, disabled, and needy. Alaskans are a generous people. Whether it’s feeding and caring for starving and impoverished people halfway around the world or lending a hand to a neighbor down the street, Alaskans give. We show up. And those values have been reflected in our government. Can we see past desire for personal windfalls and political brinksmanship to continue to be the length and shadow of generosity and compassion for our fellow Alaskans?
I had no idea how profoundly relevant the forget-me-not is as a symbol for Alaska. Our Legislature and governor are at loggerheads. Alaskans disagree on how to fund our government. But I say, legislators, will you forget-me-not? Neighbor, will you forget-me-not?
Let us find a path of true and undying love for our state.
Let us cling to the connections that bind us together as Alaskans.
Let us be ever faithful and allegiant to this place and each other. Let us be kind and loving with each other and especially with those who need our generosity and compassion. Remember the forget-me-not and all it stands for. Let’s live up to its meanings.
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