Updated June 8, 2009 at 3:30 EDT.
Alaska Governor Sarah Palin received the Independent Group Home Living, Inc. 30th Anniversary award on June 7, 2009 presented at the Flowerfield catering hall in St. James New York for her advocacy and defense of people with special needs. Just prior to receiving the award, Governor Palin joined thousands of walkers in a Autism Speaks' "Walk Now For Autism" in Purchase, NY and saw part of a Yankee game.
A fleeting moment....from left, Walter W. Stockton, CEO, Independent Group Home Living, Inc., Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and husband Todd. June 7, 2009, 6:17 PM EDT.
Governor Palin said she was humbled to receive this award, because IGHL had been advocating for the disabled for 30 years; she had only started when she gave birth to Trig. Her sister Heather was present, along with her nephew Karcher who has autism. Governor Palin spoke about the sanctity of life and the importance of respecting all human beings regardless of their abilities. Regarding her son Trig, Governor Palin said, "God has blessed us, and we don't ask why me? why us?....Without Trig, I don't think we would ever have had our hearts, and our minds, our souls, and ourselves opened up to the passion that you all have and had for many years for the special needs community. Without Trig, I think that that would be absent from us."
"Every single person has purpose, no matter what their developmental abilities....Independence and freedom: they're cherished rights for every citizen regardless of their ability," she said. The Governor renewed her campaign pledge to be a friend and advocate of anyone with special needs. Of the IGHL, Governor Palin said, "you were pioneers....you offered dignity, and you offered independence, instead of basically, candidly, just warehousing people."
Complete video transcript of Governor Palin's speech follows:
Also present were talk show host, Sean Hannity and Congressman Peter King, both staunch supporters of Governor Palin's. Mr. Hannity noted that Governor Palin did her speech without a teleprompter. "Obviously, this was from your heart," he said."I know her passion and her commitment to this cause, which many of you have been involved in for over 30 years," he said. "Whenever we serve other people in need, in our lives, we are serving a higher calling. I have been and continue to be as pro-life as anybody that I know...because...I believe as our founding document says, 'we are all endowed by our Creator.'" The video transcript of Sean Hannity's speech follows:
The Governor's time at IGHL was fleeting. Following a photo session on a footbridge in the main dining area, Governor Palin went into another dining room where the podium was located, received the award, gave her speech then left the building. As this blog goes to press, Governor Palin is in Washington, DC to meet with Alaska's Washington office (John Katz) regarding the AGIA natural gas pipeline.
New York Newsday was the only major newspaper in the New York metropolitan area that provided comprehensive, objective, and respectful coverage of this event, as well as a beautiful photo spread of Governor Palin at Yankee Stadium and at the Autism Speaks walk (not a mention on Autism Speaks site, of Governor Palin's participation in their event). The New York Newsday coverage and photo spread is now part of a reference list.
Most media were not allowed to access the room in which the speech was given, but this author was able to get this shot through the window outside, as his video camera was running inside a room away....so near yet so far away....June 7, 2009, 6:49 PM EDT.
Lam, C. (2009, June 7). Sarah Palin speaks at fundraiser in St. James. New York Newsday. Retrieved June 8, 2009 from: http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ny-sarahpalin0608,0,1640711.story
Sarah Palin at Yankees game, on LI. (2009, June 8), New York Newsday. Retrieved June 8, 2009 from: http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ny-palin-pg,0,794332.photogallery
Janison, D. (2009, June 7). Is Sarah Palin running for prez? On Long Island, nobody's saying no. New York Newsday. Retrieved June 8, 2009 from: http://www.newsday.com/news/local/ny-pojanipalin0608-col,0,4798031.column