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“Lest we forget” — A fitting tribute at the end of the Manu'a Cession Day Celebration was when Samoa News came upon a heart-wrenching scene in the final hours of our trip.


CSM Iuniasolua Savusa (RET) who is director of the American Ssamoa Dept. of Homeland Security paid his respects at the gravesite of fallen US Army SSG Salamo Jared Tuialu'ulu'u. Tuialuuluu died in Mosul, Iraq, when his Stryker military vehicle received enemy fire during convoy operations.


Savusa was the Command Sergeant Major at Ft. Campbell when Tuialuuluu first joined the Army. He was not able to escort Tuialuuluu's body back home for funeral services as he was in Afghanistan on duty at the time.


This was Savusa's first visit to the fallen soldier’s gravesite. It’s true that there is a strong bond among Soldiers that fight and survive together, and the strength of this bond overshadows all others, even family, and sometimes, even death.


Often, it seems like this small “band of brothers” are the only ones that can understand one another. Pictured below are CSM Iuniasolua Savusa (RET); MAJ Tauapai Laupola (RET); CSM Tuileama Nua (RET) who, before returning to Tutuila after celebrating Manu'a Cession Day last week, took time out to visit the gravesite of fallen US Army SSG Tuialu'ulu'u, Salamo Jared.


May we never forget the sacrifice of our sons and daughters so that we may enjoy the life we live — Freedom is never free.