More than a hundred participants attended the first-ever Walk of Honor last Friday at the Veterans Memorial at Kilili Beach, in an event that was intended to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battles of Saipan and Tinian and to honor those who perished in the CNMI during the war.
“Not only are we commemorating the soldiers who have fallen. This walk also commemorates the people who lived here and have fallen,” said American Memorial Park lead ranger Brooke Nevitt.
“We will not let the people’s sacrifices be in vain, and that, after all these 75 years, we are still resilient,” said Peter Paul Camacho, chairman of the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Saipan and Tinian Committee.
He added that the people of the CNMI understand adversity and he praised their resiliency in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yutu.
The Marine Forces Pacific Color Guard led the Walk of Honor participants from the Veterans Memorial at Kilili Beach to the World War II tank by Quartermaster Road.
Candles were also passed out to honor the memory of those who have fallen
There were a total of three stations along the way and, at the final station, participants were greeted by the Marines Forces Pacific Brass Quintet, which played patriotic music.
Small flags of the United States of America and the CNMI were posted on the sides of the pathway, courtesy of the Saipan Mayor’s Office.
The ceremony also featured wreaths that were intended to honor the 75th anniversary since the Battles of Saipan and Tinian.
“The turnout was great, we are so happy to have the Marine Corps here with their band,” Nevitt said.
The walk has been planned since last year. The committee chose to celebrate the Walk of Honor on June 14 is because it is the eve of invasion day, when American forces seized Saipan and Tinian from their Japanese defenders.