A Message from Mead About the Passing of Sen. Ted Stevens
The shock of Ted Stevens' death in a plane crash near Dillingham is still sinking in. Alaska has lost a visionary leader and I have lost a close and valued friend that I've known for thirty-seven years.
As an elected leader, first in our Alaska Legislature and then as our United States Senator, Ted Stevens never waffled on the issues or side stepped controversies. He made sure that everyone always knew where he stood. He continually fought to make sure that Washington dealt with Alaska's issues on Alaska's terms. When fighting for Alaska, he never ever backed down.
Senator Stevens' career of public service spanned sixty years and exemplified both vision and courage. It started in World War II where, as a pilot flying over the Himalayas, he was awarded two Distinguished Flying Crosses and two Air Medals. It continued in the Alaska Territory where he served as the United States Attorney in Fairbanks and in Washington where he spearheaded the fight for Alaska statehood within the Eisenhower Administration as a senior attorney in the Department of the Interior.
My last conversation with Ted, like most of my conversations with him, focused on Alaska's future. His vision of Alaska's role in defending our nation, supplying its energy needs, and leading the way in Arctic development was clear and uncompromising.
Ted Stevens set an example for every Alaskan to follow. I offer my condolences to his family and the families of others who died in the crash, they are in my prayers.Sincerely, Mead Treadwell