A ‘virtual’ Liberation Day this year


The 74th Liberation Day will be commemorated online on July 4, 2020, according to Saipan Mayor David Apatang, to celebrate the anniversary of the opening of the gates of Camp Chalan Kanoa after World War II.

According to a news release from the Office of the Mayor yesterday, it said that this “virtual” Liberation Day commemoration will be Commonwealth-wide, as Saipan will be joined in the celebration by its neighboring islands of Tinian, Rota, and the Northern Islands. Its theme is “Strength In Unity: Marianas Strong.”

“Together, we will weave our Liberation Day events to make sure that we honor our ancestors while meeting all the Governor’s COVID-19 Task Force and Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. guidelines,” said Apatang. “Today, the coronavirus pandemic…has destroyed certainties, undermined assurance, and shattered most of our beliefs. Although our hard times are nothing…compared to the sufferings endured by our elders during Camp Susupe, we must learn from our forebears that the keys to survival in yet another colossal occurrence is to be patient, prayerful, loving, and respectful.”

The Saipan Mayor’s Office will be partnering with KKMP radio station and other local stakeholders for the commemoration.

Apatang earlier announced that the traditional Liberation Day festival at the Garapan Fishing Base and July 4th parade along Beach Road will be canceled this year.

Arriane (last name withheld by request), 19, As Lito, said she is just happy that the Liberation Day commemoration will still happen. “The Liberation commemoration has always been a great event for the community. Considering what’s going on, I am happy that there will still be a way we can celebrate CNM Liberation Fay.” She hopes that the celebration will help raise awareness of what is going around the world right now.

Davian (last name withheld by request), 20, Dandan, said if it were up to her, the Liberation Day commemoration should just be canceled. “I honestly do not see a point in having a virtual [event] because it wouldn’t feel the same. As much as I wish to have an actual celebration, it would be better to just cancel it this year.”

Liberation Day marks the date when the civilian population of Saipan were released from interment at Camp Susupe. (Chevy Alipio)

Chevy Alipio

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