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To American Samoans united here and around the world

Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has called for “unity” in American Samoa as residents mark this year’s Flag Day ceremony today at Veterans Memorial Stadium where some 2,000 workers from StarKist Samoa will participate as the company celebrates both Flag Day and its 50th anniversary in the territory this year.


The governor’s call was made Monday night during his special remarks at the opening of the 2013 Arts Council Flag Day program, which ended last night at Utulei Beach, in spite of the wet weather.


Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga was scheduled to deliver the program's closing remarks.


In his special remarks, Lolo recalled this year’s theme of “Unity”, which has been selected by his administration. He said Flag Day appears to be taken lightly by some residents, but the foresight and wisdom of our forefathers who agreed to having these islands become part of the U.S. family made sure that this day in history is a special day of celebration, as it's put down in the law.


He said it was the wishes of American Samoa's ancestors that the territory and its residents stand in unity for this special day and put everything in the hands of God, who has guided American Samoa thru its journey throughout these 113 years.


The governor said Flag Day is to bring the community together as one, to live together in unity and with one heart.


For American Samoans here and all over the world, “this is your happy day of celebration,” said Lolo. And for American Samoans serving in the U.S. Armed Forces around the world,“you are always remembered in our prayers.”


He called on residents of the territory to make Flag Day this year the beginning — a day in which American Samoa comes together in unity. He says that it's a known fact that everyone has their own views and opinions, but it's God’s wishes that these differences of views and opinions are brought together to build a better future for generations to come.


“American Samoa, this is your special day,” he concluded.


The official Flag Day program gets underway this morning with the Fautasi race in Pago Pago Harbor and everyone is praying for good weather after yesterday's heavy rain. From the town area, activities move to the Veterans Memorial Stadium, with the prayers, songs, and raising of the flags of the United States of America and Amerika Samoa, followed by Lolo's Flag Day address.


School groups and other organizations participating in the parade should be at the stadium field by 8a.m. today and the largest contingent for the parade comes from StarKist Samoa.


“StarKist is pleased to accept the Governor’s invitation to participate in this year’s Flag Day celebration and is honored to be a part of the opening ceremony and parade. This Flag Day is especially meaningful for StarKist as we celebrate 50 years in American Samoa this year,” StarKist spokesperson Mary Sestric said from the company’s corporate office in Pittsburgh.


“About 2,000 StarKist employees will honor this milestone for the company by wearing a uniform displaying our 50th anniversary logo in addition to the U.S. and American Samoan flags,” she said responding to Samoa News inquiries. “During the parade, StarKist employees will also display banners for each department. StarKist is eagerly anticipating this year’s Flag Day events.”


Pese and siva are set for this afternoon along with the closing ceremony with the customary awarding of prizes. Closing remarks will be heard from Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga, co-chair of the Flag Day Committee.


Because today is an ASG holiday, all government offices are closed, while many local businesses will operate as usual, including Bank of Hawai’i. However, ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank will be closed to observe Flag Day and will re-open on Thursday. All federal offices including the U.S. Post Office remain open today.