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American Samoa’s 124th Flag Day holiday expanded to include Tuesday

The U.S. Marine Band
Flag Day April 17 events move to the Tafuna area for finale

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — In a special memorandum, the governor has also included today, April 16, as an ASG holiday. According to the memo issued yesterday, “In order for the American Samoa government employees to have time to spend with their families to celebrate and honor our Forefathers and the wisdom of their decision to add our people to the American Family, Tuesday, April 16, 2024, will also be observed as part of the Flag Day holiday …” it said.

With Flag Day falling mid-week this year and the Fautasi race taking place this morning, all events tomorrow — including the drone fireworks show —will take place at the Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tafuna.

At 6a.m. invited guests will be seated and organizations performing will take their place on the field as the Governor Lemanu P.S. Mauga and Lt. Gov. Laapui Talauega E.V. Ale and other VIPs arrive. The program will include the raising of the flags, performances by both the U.S. Marine Band and the Samoa Royal Police Band, traditional dances, the prize-giving and an address by the governor, culminating that evening with the fireworks show.

Earlier this week the governor said in a statement released from his office, “In commemorating the 124th anniversary of the historic moment when the United States Flag was first raised on our beloved shores at Sogelau Hill, we pay tribute to the visionary leaders who shaped our shared destiny. This day holds profound significance, serving as a powerful reminder of the enduring bond between American Samoa and the United States of America.”

He mentioned that the territory takes pride in the fact that, on a per capita basis, American Samoa boasts a higher representation in the United States Armed Forces than any other state or territory. “The selfless dedication and unwavering patriotism of our sons and daughters embody the spirit of service deeply ingrained within our community. Each day, the raising of our flags pays homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

He suggested that we reflect on the responsibilities we each bear as stewards of our community. “Let us keep close to heart the values that shape our identity - the spirit of alofa (love), tautua (service), and fa'aaloalo (respect). Let us pledge to uphold these principles as we navigate the challenges of today and securing a brighter tomorrow for generations to come.”

“Together Lieutenant Governor La'apui and I, reaffirm our commitment to safeguarding the legacy of our Forefathers. May the flags of American Samoa and the United States of America continue to wave proudly, guiding us forward with unwavering resolve and boundless optimism.”

Congresswoman Uifa’atele Amata who is on island again this year for the festivities said, “I am delighted to be here for our celebrations together in our beautiful islands. On Flag Day, we honor the decision of our ancestors to raise the U.S. flag here, and start a new era for generations to follow. We are proudly patriotic in our loyalty to the U.S., while holding dear our Samoan way, culture, and language.

“We especially thank every Veteran and Service Member, and think of those stationed elsewhere during Flag Day. Most of all, we thank God, and ask his blessing on American Samoa and the USA!”

Lt. Gov. La'apui announced the theme for American Samoa's 124th Flag Day as ‘Ia mamalu ma aloa’. “It is a testament of our enduring fealty to the agreements of cession made on April 17, 1900 and July 14, 1904. Our Forefathers had prudence and foresight to cede our islands to the greatest nation in the modern world. We honor their tofa mamao by preserving our longstanding union with the United States of America.”

Samoa News will not publish tomorrow and the office will be closed.  We will be back on Thursday.  Continue to enjoy a safe and happy Flag Day celebration.