On Saturday, the Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs held a ceremony at the Alaska National Guard Armory on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson (JBER) to publicly honor Alaska's thousands of veterans, in recognition of Veterans Day. 

KTVA 11's photojournalist Kevin Kelleher captured the sights and sounds at the event, attended by First Lady, Donna Walker, Anchorage Mayor Ethan Berkowitz, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski. 

"The opportunity to gather with our veterans, the opportunity to say thank you in a public and open way is so important," Murkowski said of the ceremony. "And I will remind people, you don't necessarily have to come out to a recognition ceremony, but take the time to say thank you. Send a note, make a telephone call. Buy a cup of coffee for that veteran. Show the appreciation, the care, the love and the thanks, it's pretty."

Korean War Veteran Gordon J. Severson, of Anchorage, received the 2017 Governor's Veterans Advocacy Award. Severson joined the military at the age of 15, and has received four Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star Medal for valor. 

"It's quite a thrill to me, kind of a surprise, and unexpected honor, but I do appreciate it and all the people being here today for Veterans Day," said Severson. "Everybody has veterans in the family and people they know, we do appreciate it."