MONTGOMERY - Governor Bob Riley swore in 27 new recruits to the Alabama National Guard during a special ceremony at the State Capitol on the sixth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The recruits, who range in age from 17 to 32, are the "embodiment of what's best about America," Governor Riley said. "Your courage humbles us and it also frightens those who attacked us on 9-11," he told them.
The Alabama National Guard has had approximately 13,000 soldiers and airmen called to active duty since the War on Terror began Sept. 11, 2001.
"Every governor probably thinks that theirs is the most patriotic state in the nation, but they're wrong. Alabama is, and if you don't believe it, look at the number of men and women who have served and are continuing to serve today," Governor Riley said.
"We owe a debt to the men and women who are signing up today. We owe a debt of gratitude to everyone who is in uniform today and we should never forget that debt because we can never repay it," the Governor said.
The 151st Army Band played traditional patriotic music at the special ceremony.