OKLAHOMA CITY – A ceremony the Blue Room of the State Capitol helped mark the enactment of a new law to honor Oklahoma soldiers who make the supreme sacrifice in the War on Terror.
Senator Jay Paul Gumm was principal author of SB 712, which require the governor to order flags on state property to be flown at half-staff on the day of the memorial service for Oklahomans who are killed in combat. A special guest at the ceremony was the JohnstonCounty soldier who suggested it, Sgt. Todd Anderson.
Anderson was a Senate Page during Gumm’s first year in the Senate. He emailed the senator last fall from Iraq and suggested the legislation. Tishomingo state Rep. Paul Roan was the carried the bill in the House of Representatives and the measure passed the Legislature without a single “no” vote before being signed into law by the governor.
“It was an especially memorable ceremony because Todd was able to join us,” said Gumm, a Democrat whose district includes Johnston County. “This legislation exemplifies the impact one person can have on our government, and honors the courage and commitment of those Oklahomans who have given their lives in the War on Terror.”
The new law became effective on July 1, 2009.
“We’re all extremely proud of Todd, and of the sacrifices and dedication he and countless other Oklahoma soldiers have made in the name of freedom,” said Roan, also a Democrat. “I’ve known this young man pretty much his entire life, and the concern for his fellow soldiers his idea showed is a perfect example of his character.”
Gov. Brad Henry said he was extremely pleased to sign the legislation into law. “The citizens of our state are tremendous patriots and have always supported our troops. This new law is a reflection of those traditional Oklahoma values.”
Joining Sgt. Anderson at the ceremony was his mother, Mary Anderson, and Tom Lokey, a family friend.