COVENANT DAY ANNIVERSARY
As the CNMI once again celebrates another CNMI Covenant Day today, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang looks back at the progress the Commonwealth has made since March 24, 1976.
Marking the 43rd year of starting from a simple island community to a “complex and diversified community of different nationalities,” Apatang noted that it all started with a promise.
“On June 17, 1975, armed with the promise of a brighter future, an educated future, a sophisticated future, a future filled with hopes and dreams of better and responsible government, better education system, better health care, economic growth and prosperity, among other things, the people of the Northern Marianas approved the dream to become a contributing member of the greatest nation on earth, the United States of America,” he said.
With that also came sacrifices such as giving up a portion of the “old ways of living, the feeling of total independence, their limited resources, and more,” Apatang said.
“Although 43 years have passed…our political relationship with the U.S. is still in its nascent phase,” he said. “We are still searching for the promises and hopes our fathers and mothers dreamed for us. No doubt, we are on the right path and have reached countless milestones.”
Apatang called on the residents of Saipan to honor the vision of the Covenant’s negotiators, the U.S. government, and former president Gerald R. Ford for signing the Covenant into U.S. Public Law 94-241 on March 24, 1976.
“Let us remember the many sacrifices and hard work that our past generations had unselfishly committed and performed to establish the commonwealth we have today, which we proudly call home,” he said.