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Territorial Holiday — Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
compiled by Samoa News staff
“Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” –Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Caught between colliding pressures of a pandemic, political unrest and outcries for social justice, this Martin Luther King Day of Service is unlike any other. But despite the limitations of the season, this federal holiday doesn't have to be any less impactful. Now more than ever, MLK Day of Service is enabling everyday people to roll up their sleeves and help their communities.  This was reported by CNN — while other national media are showing scenes of a completely vacant National Mall as the Nation's Capitol is shutdown after last week's insurrection in preparation for the inaguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Wednesday.

Observing MIK Jr. day, Congresswoman Uifaatali Amata released the following statement:

 “This year’s celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is timely, and should lead us to pause and reflect. His message, as enshrined on our National Mall, still applies to today’s news and political scene. Dr. King helped bring about lasting change through peaceful means. He persuaded people, and changed minds and hearts. As a nation, we should recommit to that ideal now.

“Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, ‘The time is always right to do what is right.’ We should continue to value peaceful protests, and preserve the constitutionally protected right of the people to assemble, but those assemblies and protests must choose the right way, as Dr. King did.

“Dr. King worked to bring people together, not divide. We must continue building on his life’s work for equality. This day is a helpful current reminder to love our neighbors and have our national debates in unity, peace and kindness.”

Amata with Dr. Alveda King, niece of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. [courtesy photo]

Gov. Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga declared today. Monday, Jan. 18th, a holiday in American Samoa in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in the territory.

All government offices in American Samoa and across the U.S. are closed today and ASG employees who are required to work will be paid required wages in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Besides ASG, some businesses are also closed including the local banks; however, other companies including StarKist Samoa are operating today.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day — which is observed on the third Monday of January — is also a federal holiday, which means all federal government agencies — are closed, including the US Post Office in Fagatogo.

In observance of the holiday, there is no Samoa News print issue today, but it will return on Tuesday, Jan. 19th.

Have a safe holiday. Remember: Do not drink and drive!

(Sources: CNN, Congresswoman Uifaatali Amata, The King Center]