Happy Thanksgiving Am Samoa

fili@samoanews.com

Today, American Samoa joins the rest of the United States and Americans around the world to celebrate Thanksgiving Day — a federal and public holiday. Like the rest of the nation, many local residents are marking Thanksgiving with prayers and celebrations in gatherings with families and friends, as well as religious traditions.

The “First Thanksgiving” is reported by historians as being celebrated by early Pilgrims after their first harvest in the New World in 1621. It was a three day feast. George Washington proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, and Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition during the Civil War.

“The inherent message of Thanksgiving is the expression of our sense of being thankful and being grateful for all the blessings that we have been privileged to receive from our Heavenly Father,” said Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga in his annual Thanksgiving message.

“We have so much to be thankful for this year in spite of the challenges we are facing in our efforts to improve the lives of all our people,” he said, and added that on this Thanksgiving, remember “our TOA o Samoa who continue to dedicate their lives protecting our freedoms and our cherished way of life.”

In his first Thanksgiving message as President of the United States, Donald Trump has proclaimed Thursday as National Day of Thanksgiving, in which “Americans give thanks to Almighty God for our abundant blessings. We gather with the people we love to show gratitude for our freedom, for our friends and families, and for the prosperous Nation we call home.”

Trump, on behalf of all Americans, offered a “special word of thanks to the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, many of whom must celebrate this holiday separated from the ones for whom they are most thankful.”

Because of the holiday, all American Samoa government offices are closed today, as declared by the governor.  All ASG employees required to work will be compensated in accordance with local laws. Samoa News has learned that some ASG employees plan to also take Friday off.

All public schools will be closed on Friday, but all Education Department employees are to report to work, according to ASDOE officials.

The majority of local businesses are closed today, including all federal offices, the U.S. Post Office, and the three local banks.

Most businesses will resume operations on Friday, including the Post Office, with stores holding their Black Friday sales — American Samoa style — opening their doors between 5a.m.- 6a.m. 

As has been the norm in the last few years, congested traffic is expected - early in the morning - around Malaeimi village during the annual Neil’s ACE Home Center’s Black Friday event, which starts at 6a.m.

Traffic is also expected to be backed up near the Laufou Shopping Center, as Bluesky's Black Friday sale is set to start at 6a.m. while across the street, starting at 5a.m., CBT will open its door for their special sale.

Several local restaurants are offering Thanksgiving specials today, which will take the burden off those who don’t want to cook and clean up but instead, enjoy each other’s company over food and drinks.

A few stores are also offering ready cooked turkey feasts for those who don't have time to cook the usual Thanksgiving meal.

If you’re a person who loves nature, head over to Ina’s Plant Sale starting at 6a.m. at Tuiagamoa’s residence in the Leone-Auma area.

For flights on the inter Samoa route, reports from the Tafuna Airport state that flights have been busy since Tuesday but there's a break on Friday before traffic picks up for flights from Apia bringing back passengers following the holiday.

StarKist Samoa, the largest private employer, is scheduled to resume production next Monday after a five-week shutdown.

Because of the holiday, police presence will increase island-wide and motorists are reminded not to drink and drive.

Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday season, and today is the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City, with increased security. Friday is also Black Friday across the US, although many major US outlets have started early this week their Black Friday sales online.

In observation of Thanksgiving Day 2017, Samoa News did not publish today but will return on Friday.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving American Samoa, from the management and staff of Samoa News

Comment Here