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Thanksgiving Day Spirit 2016

Gov. Lolo: “Do something good to improve someone else’s life”

Tomorrow, American Samoa joins the rest of the United States and Americans around the world to celebrate Thanksgiving Day — a federal and public holiday — celebrated on the last Thursday in November. Like the rest of the nation, many local residents will mark Thanksgiving with prayers and celebration in gatherings that include families and friends, as well as religious traditions.

George Washington proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving in 1789, and Abraham Lincoln revived the tradition during the Civil War.

“For this Thanksgiving Day, commit to advancing the spirit of this holiday by deliberately taking time to do something good to improve someone else’s life,” Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga said in his annual Thanksgiving message. “We must start a new Thanksgiving Day Spirit by committing to doing something good for your neighbor and to thank God for all the blessings you have received throughout the year.”

According to the governor, while “we appreciate the positive impact of technological breakthroughs on our lives, we have remained oblivious to interpersonal breakdowns, eroding relationships and bonds between ourselves, along with the scarcity of opportunities to interact with each other in fostering face to face expressions of appreciation and gratitude for any good deed that does benefit us directly or indirectly.”

“We have so much to be thankful for because God seems to have favored the people of American Samoa with his blessings as social misfortunes experienced by many countries of the world are still alien to us,” he said. “Starvation and homelessness are social misfortunes that are hard for us to fathom because food is plentiful and our extended families take care of our own.”

Because of the holiday, all American Samoa government offices will be closed tomorrow, as declared by the governor.  All ASG employees required to work will be compensated in accordance with local laws. Samoa News has learned that some ASG employees plan to also take Friday off as part of their vacation.

All public schools will be closed on Friday, but all Education Department employees are to report to work, according to ASDOE.

The majority of local businesses will be closed tomorrow, including all federal offices, the U.S. Post Office, and the three local private banks. Most businesses will resume operations on Friday, including the Post Office, with stores holding their Black Friday sales — American Samoa style — opening their doors between 5:30a.m.- 6a.m.

Congested traffic is expected on the main road around the Malaeimi village for the annual Neil’s ACE Home Center’s Black Friday event, a major happening in the territory, look for a 3-hour special for great bargains, a big raffle and overall great savings on goods. It will stay open until 5p.m.

StarKist Samoa, the largest private employer, has had this whole week off since Nov. 21 and production will resume Nov. 28, which is also the same date Samoa Tuna Processors Inc., will resume production after taking tomorrow and Friday off for the Thanksgiving holiday. Talofa Systems Inc., the can manufacturing plant, also has this whole week off and resumes operations Nov. 28 too.

Pre Thanksgiving Day events include Leone High School’s Annual Turkey Run, which started at 4:30a.m today, for six categories — including professional runners and power walkers. Following the run, there will be Zumba, performances by Samoan artists, and other events at the school campus.

Because of the holiday, police will increase their presence island-wide for Thanksgiving. Motorists are reminded not to drink and drive.

Several local restaurants are offering Thanksgiving specials tomorrow, which will take the burden off those who just don’t want to cook & cleanup — but instead just enjoy each other’s company over food & drinks.

A few stores are also providing specials for those who do not have time to cook by preparing the usual Thanksgiving meals ready to be picked up. (See today’s advertisements in Samoa News for more information.)

For flights on the inter Samoa route, airport officials report yesterday that flights are full and are expecting passenger traffic to increase today, as local residents head to Samoa for the holiday, some of them taking tomorrow and Friday off from work, for a 4-day weekend

Thanksgiving officially kicks off the holiday season, and tomorrow morning will be the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Samoa News will not publish tomorrow but will return on Friday.

From Samoa News management and staff, who will be working tomorrow, in case someone has leftover turkey and stuffing as well as pumpkin pie to share... HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING AND GOD BLESS US ALL.