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Flags fly at half staff today in remembrance of Senator Amituana’i Eteuati Sr.

Gov. Togiola Tulafono has ordered all flags to be flown half staff for two days starting today in “remembrance” of the late Sen. Amituana’i Eteuati Sr. who passed away last month at the LBJ Medical Center at the age of 78.

Amituana’i, one of the three senators for the Ma’oputasi County, entered the Senate in January 2009, serving his first four-year term in office. He represented the villages of Faga’alu, Fatumafuti, Gataivai and Utulei. He was chairman of the Senate Communications Committee and served as a member of other Senate standing committees.

In a memorandum dated Dec. 12, the governor ordered all flags to be lowered at half staff at sunrise today until sunset tomorrow, Dec. 16, “in remembrance of Senator Amituana’i’s outstanding public service and his dedication to building and leading our beloved territory.”

“I ask the people of American Samoa to join me in honoring the passing of Senator Amituana’i Eteuati,” the governor said. “His service to this government and people will be ever remembered. His commitment and leadership shall stand as legacy for us all to follow.”

The governor also authorized the use of the Territorial Flag during the funeral service and directed the Department of Public Safety to present all appropriate honors and ceremony as authorized by Territorial protocol — which includes the use of the police honor guard throughout the funeral service.

Amituana’i’s son, Rep. Vailoata Eteuati Amituana’i Jr. said his father’s remains will be taken out of the LBJ chapel around 9 a.m. today for the Fono Guest Fale where the state funeral will be held.

From the Fono, the funeral procession heads to the Congregational Christian Church of American Samoa in Faga’alu for the first church service. The remains will then be taken to the family guest house for an overnight vigil, which includes traditional Samoan cultural presentations followed tomorrow morning by the final church service — also at CCCAS-Fagaalu. Amituana’i will be laid to rest at his home in Faga’alu.

Sen. Amituana’i Eteuati Sr.  is survived by his wife Moka Marie, seven children and many grandchildren.