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Senator Stevens, A Tremendous Loss to Missile Defense

WASHINGTON, Aug. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Riki Ellison, Chairman and Founder of the Missile Defense Advocacy Alliance (MDAA), www.missiledefenseadvocacy.org, has released a statement on the death of Senator Ted Stevens yesterday caused by a plane accident up in Alaska. Ellison knew Senator Stevens who was a strong advocate for missile defense. His comments follow below:

"It is with tremendous sorrow, emptiness and breaking emotions on this day, that we as Americans bear witness to the passing of a great Statesman for our nation, that had the courage where others did not, the foresight against the majority where others dare not do, and the tenacity of a skilled sheer determined man that came from humble American beginnings to bring a territory into our 49th state, to defend our nation with valor, wisdom and vision, to outreach and enable every part of Alaska from its native tribes, its wildlife, its natural resources and its people to significantly add to the fabric and strength of the American people and its culture.

"Senator Ted Stevens, with his intimidating presence and reputation of passionate deliberate confrontation on issues important to our nation and his state had a more compassionate reputation to those that knew him of deep love and respect for the multitude of people he touched, enabled and led in so many ways throughout his 86 years in the making of today's America.

"We were fortunate to have him grace our nation, share his wisdom, use his knowledge, and live with freedom from his legacy.

"For missile defense, there has been no greater or better legislator and Congressional Representative of the American People in the history of our Country that has done more to evolve, develop and deploy our nation's missile defense systems which today are placed throughout the world, making our world, our allies and our troops safe. Without Senator Stevens' visionary leadership, this nation would not today have a deployed a missile defense system and architecture protecting our homeland. The Missile Defense Agency would not have been formed or supported without the iron will of Senator Stevens."

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