American Samoa observes Martin Luther King Holiday

Historic intersection of presidential inauguration, MLK Day
Volunteers roll up posters marking the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech during the annual holiday commemorative service in his honor at the Ebenezer Baptist Church, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Local government and federal offices are closed today in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga last week issued a memo declaring (Monday) Jan. 21 an ASG holiday.

Lolo says ASG employees required to work on the holiday will be paid wages in accordance with rules and regulations.

U.S. President Barack Obama reminded the nation that every year, Americans mark this day by answering Dr. King's call to service. “In his memory, let us recall his teaching that ‘we are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly’,” said Obama in a memorandum declaring Monday a federal government holiday.

“In keeping with Dr. King's example, let us embrace the belief that our destiny is shared, accept our obligations to each other and to future generations, and strengthen the bonds that hold together the most diverse Nation on earth,” he said. ( full text of Obama’s proclamation can be found on whitehouse.gov )

Today is both Inauguration Day and the federal holiday honoring the slain civil rights leader. It is only the second time the two have fallen on the same day. Some say it's only fitting the celebrations are intertwined.

According to The Associated Press, President Barack Obama used a Bible that belonged to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as he took his oath of office, a powerful symbol of this year's rare intersection of the civil rights movement and the nation's first black president.

"It's almost like fate and history coming together," said U.S. Rep. John Lewis, who worked alongside King in the fight for civil rights during the 1950s and `60s and plans to attend the inauguration. "If it hadn't been for Martin Luther King Jr., there would be no Barack Obama as president."

Many local businesses including the two commercial banks are closed and the U.S. Post Office has the day off as well.  Last week, StarKist Co. spokesperson Mary Sestric said the StarKist Samoa plant will also be closed Monday.

More details about Dr. King, this holiday and his legacy can be found on www.MLKDay.gov

Click on attachments to download text of Obama's address.

Text of President Obama address.pdf59.43 KB


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