Veterans Day 2013
American Samoa on Monday joins the rest of the United States in celebrating Veterans Day, and there will be a local ceremony at the Veterans Memorial Monument at the Tafuna Industrial Park. There, Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga, who is also the acting governor, will deliver this administration’s first Veterans Day address on the national holiday honoring those who have served in all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Monday’s ceremony is to “pay tribute and honor all Veterans and to salute them for their service in protecting the freedom that we as a nation appreciate and relish,” said Lemanu, in a letter of invitation to cabinet members, including department staff and their families.
Lemanu, a military veteran himself, recalled a writing by Gen. Robert E. Lee, who said, “What a cruel thing is war: to separate and destroy families and friends, and mar the purest joys and happiness God has granted us in this world; to fill our hearts with hatred instead of love for our neighbors and to devastate the fair face of this beautiful world.”
American Samoans have served in all branches of the Armed Forces in many world conflicts, including the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
“... today, the men and women of American Samoa continue to serve our country in these perilous times of terrorism and war,” said Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga in his Veteran’s Day proclamation. (Full details of the proclamation are published elsewhere in today’s edition of Samoa News).
U.S. President Barack Obama said that on Veterans Day, America pauses to honor every service member who has ever worn one of the nation’s uniforms. “Each time our country has come under attack, they have risen in her defense. Each time our freedoms have come under assault, they have responded with resolve,” he said in his Veterans Day message.
“Through the generations, their courage and sacrifice have allowed our Republic to flourish. And today, a Nation acknowledges its profound debt of gratitude to the patriots who have kept it whole,” he said. (Obama’s message is posted on the White House website: www.whitehouse.gov)
In the territory, the local celebration kicks off at 8a.m. Monday and it includes fun activities, entertainment and food. The public is invited and it is free of charge. Sunday at 3p.m. there will be a Veterans Day church service at Matau’u-Faganeanea CCCAS.
Veterans Day is a federal and local government holiday and therefore all offices will be closed. ASG employees required to work on that day will be compensated in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.
Besides ASG offices, many local businesses will also be closed including ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank and Bank of Hawai’i. All federal offices will be closed, including the U.S Post Office in Fagatogo.
The United States and American Samoa flags are expected to be seen island wide in honor of our veterans.
Best wishes to our veterans on Veterans Day. Let us also remember our Toa o Samoa serving all over the world especially those still deployed in war torn countries.
In honor of all veterans, Samoa News will not publish on Monday, but will return on Tuesday. Samoa News weekend edition, To’asavili will publish tomorrow.