Cadets of the Saipan Southern High School’s Manta Ray Battalion gathered at the Chalan Kanoa Cemetery, along with Kagman High School’s Ayuyu Battalion and new recruits of the U.S. Marine Corps, on Oct. 13, 2018, to clean up the cemetery in preparation for the All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day celebrations on Nov. 1 and 2.
The CNMI’s predominantly Catholic community traditionally visit the graves of family members and loved ones on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2.
A total of 130 cadets attended the early morning cleanup last Oct. 13. The Manta Ray Battalion, led by battalion commander, cadet/ LTC Nicole Malasarte, and the supervision of senior Army instructor CSM Richard S. Basa, spruced up the north side of the cemetery.
More than 200 bags of trash, debris, worn-out flowers, and candles were gathered in less than four hours.
Community volunteer Max Aguon also took part in the cemetery cleanup by providing transportation to take out the bags of trash.
The purpose of the cleanup is to prepare the cemetery for the upcoming observance of All Saint’s Day and All Soul’s Day.
“As a community, we should better ourselves by showing respect to those who have been buried. Trash should be properly disposed of. …As cadets, or leaders, we demonstrate dedication to citizenship, knowledge of civic responsibilities, and self-discipline. We encourage others to participate in such cleanups that will benefit a community,” the Manta Ray Battalion said in a statement. (PR)