CNMI celebrates 75-year legacy after WWII battles

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Posted on Jun 18 2019

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Members of different military branches pose for a photo with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, CNMI officials, and members of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Saipan committee after the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Saipan and Tinian Wreath Lying Ceremony last Saturday at the American Memorial Park. (Marc Venus)

The 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Saipan and Tinian committee ended its commemoration of Saipan last Saturday at the American Memorial Park. The final event on Saipan was the Wreath Laying Ceremony at AMP’s Court of Honor.

Among those who attended the wreath-laying ceremony were Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, House Speaker Blas Jonathan T. Attao (R-Saipan), Rep. Edmund S. Villagomez (Ind-Saipan), Rep. Sheila J. Babauta (Ind-Saipan), Rep. Luis John DLG Castro (R-Saipan), and Christina Sablan (Ind-Saipan).

Several dignified members of both the Navy and the Marines were also present.

Among the members of the military were commander of Joint Region Marianas in Guam, Rear Admiral Shoshana Chatfield of the Navy and 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Assistant Wing Commander Brigadier General Sean Salene.

This will be Chatfield’s final year as commander of the Joint Region Marianas as she will become the first-ever female president of the Naval War College.

Spectators watch as two B-52 jets fly over Saipan and Tinian during the event. (Marc Venus)

“In my 31 years of military service, there is not one thing I have done that has even half the significance of the 19-year-old who came ashore on the 15th of June on Saipan,” Chatfield said.

Chatfield also thanked all the people and officials of the CNMI for giving such a great time while serving in the Marianas.

This is Salene’s first time to be in the islands and he looks forward to returning for a visit.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres opened the ceremony by thanking all of the “fallen heroes who battled for our freedom” and stated that the CNMI will never forget all the sacrifices that were made. Torres also recognized Chatfield’s promotion as president of the Naval War College.

An important highlight of the ceremony was the speech delivered by keynote speaker David “Uncle Dave” M. Sablan Sr.

Sablan described how life was growing up during the Japanese occupation of Saipan. He described the battle of Saipan as a turning point of his life.

A pair of B-52 jets also passed through Saipan and Tinian around the time of Chatfield’s speech in celebration of the 75th anniversary.

Last Saturday, June 15, marked the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Saipan and Tinian.

Tinian also received a wreath-laying ceremony yesterday, June 17, at the Tinian Veterans Memorial.

The 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Saipan committee thanked its sponsors for all their help throughout the entire week.

MARC VENUS Author

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