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Statement from State Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek regarding Sean O'Keefe

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 - 4:06pm

Baton Rouge, La. - Inquiries, concern and good wishes regarding the well-being of Sean O'Keefe and his son, Kevin, have been pouring into my office from around the state and country. Therefore, acting as spokesperson on behalf of Sean O'Keefe and his family, I would like to issue the following statement:

"During this time of tragedy, our heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Senator Ted Stevens. His passing is a profound loss to Sean, both personally and professionally, as well as to the O'Keefe family.

We will remember him for his long-standing commitment and service to our country and the loving example he set as a husband, a father and a friend. Sean truly admired the work of Senator Stevens on behalf of the people of Alaska and the United States.

Sean, Kevin and our family also mourn the loss of their other travel companions, and we send their loved ones our most sincere condolences .

As for Sean and Kevin, their injuries do not appear to be life-threatening and we are confident they will have a full recovery. While we are deeply saddened by the losses of Sean's friends and colleagues, we are grateful Sean and Kevin will have the opportunity to return home to our family.

Laura is holding up well. She has visited with both Sean and Kevin at the hospital, was heartened by seeing them and has communicated with both of them. Laura is very encouraged by the excellent medical attention they are getting and is particularly grateful for the valiant and heroic efforts that were made to rescue the passengers. She appreciates the outpouring of support that they have received and asks that we continue praying for all those who have been affected by this tragedy.

Considering that this is a time of grief and recovery for the O'Keefe family and others, only written statements will be issued, and no request s for press availability will be honored at this time. Therefore, we ask that the family's privacy be respected during this trying time."

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