ANCHORAGE - Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin urged Alaskans to help their fellow Americans in Texas Saturday, during a rally in her home state.
After spending the last several days in Alaska, Palin is set to take off again for the campaign trail this week.
Standing in front of a sign that read "Welcome Home Sarah!" the Alaska governor was greeted to cheers by hundreds of fellow Alaskans Saturday morning. Before the rally began, the Wasilla Warriors High School pep band played music to get an already excited crowd in an even better mood.
Call for Help for Ike Victims
But the mood quickly sobered as people paused to pray for Hurricane Ike victims along the Gulf Coast. Pastor Nathan Toots, of First Covenant Church in Anchorage offered the opening prayer.
Shortly after Palin took to the stage, she acknowledged the devastation from Hurricane Ike.
"I know that I speak for all Alaskans for the people of Houston and the costal areas," Palin started. "Many of them are going to need the help of their fellows citizens."
"Let's show our Alaskan heart to help our fellow Americans in Texas," she said.
Palin directed people to Sen. John McCain's Web site to make a donation to help the victims of the storm.
Both McCain and Sen. Barack Obama have portions on their Web sites dedicated to the storm. The two Presidential hopefuls released statements on the storm's devastation.
"Today, Cindy and I join every American in offering prayers and assistance to those along the Gulf Coast reeling from the damage done by Hurricane Ike," McCain said. "The scope of the destruction is not yet clear…. but I am increasingly concerned that there may have been a substantial loss of life."
Obama said, "I am praying for the safety of all those in Hurricane Ike's path…. and once the storm passes, we must work to provide swift relief wherever it is needed."
Traveling Hocky Mom
During the rally, Palin spoke to the hockey moms and dads in the audience.
"I am so proud of the last frontier and being from Alaska - I can not tell you," she said. "I'll be home come November, and I'd like to bring home my friend, our friend John McCain. He is alaska's friend. You're going to love him."
Palin spoke at length about energy independence and how Alaska can help the country become free from the dependence on foreign oil.
"We're doing our part with the natural gas line that is in the works today," she said. "People are saying 'thank you Alaska' for foresight in this to see these resources tapped and developed safely."
The Alaskan Family
Alaska's land mass is larger than any other state in the Union. It is twice the size of Texas. And though it's sparsely populated with about 700,000 people total, people in the state act like they are a family.
Palin said this attitude "needs to be spread across our great nation at a time like this.She recounted her time as mayor and now governor, and thanked her fellow friends for the "lesson you have taught me."
"I thank you for the lessons that you have instilled in me, so I hope you will join me to see this cause through on Nov. 4 let's elect John McCain president," she said.
Palin heads to Carson City, Nev., Saturday afternoon where she will hold a rally there.
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