75th anniversary of Battles of Saipan and Tinian
On Wednesday, Feb. 6, the 2019 Liberation Day Planning Committee kicked off its planning and preparation for the annual CNMI Liberation Festivities, with a special commemoration for the 75th anniversary of the Battles of Saipan and Tinian.
The committee held its first meeting at the Saipan Mayor’s Office. It welcomed back last year’s members and welcomed new members to the team. Currently, the team consists of Joe Ayuyu Jr. as chair, Shayne Villanueva as vice chair, Louis Rogers (LDC Non-Profit President), Ryan Camacho (Subcommittee on Finance), Lee Tenorio (Subcommittee on Sponsorships), Parker Yobei and Gordon Marciano (Subcommittee on Program and Entertainment), Maria Valentina Haberman and Joann Aquino (Subcommittee on Concessions, Grounds and Logistics), TBA (Subcommittee on Royal Court), Skep Palacios (Subcommittee on Grand Stand and Hospitality), Kevin Bautista (Subcommittee on Marketing and Public Relations), and Peter Paul Camacho (Governor’s Representative).
The major topic of discussion at the first meeting was the theme of this year’s celebration. The board voted on “Marianas Strong: 75 Years of Resiliency.”
This year’s celebration is significant. “As we celebrate our annual Liberation Day festivities, we also commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battles of Saipan and Tinian, two pivotal battles that led to the eventual end of World War II,” a committee statement over the weekend said. “The Battles of Saipan and Tinian also marked a new chapter for the people who call the Marianas home, as we officially began to foster our relationship with the United States of America.”
“For 75 years, the Marianas has remained resilient in the face of great change. From the liberation of Camp Susupe, to our fight for self-determination, to the creation of a Commonwealth in political union with the United States, and through some of the worst storms on record, our people overcame the greatest odds in order to build a unique community that is rich in culture and stronger than any typhoon. Seventy-five years of resiliency represent our story of struggle, triumph, and love. The struggle to build a brighter future for the next generation, the triumph over the biggest of challenges, and the love we have for our families and friends represent the continuing story of the Marianas.
“This year’s theme is a celebration of our story as a community and represents the spirit of inafa’maolek and tipiyeew that will guide us to the next chapter in the life of these beautiful islands,” the statement adds.
Ayuyu said the committee looks forward to working with the Governor’s Office, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the business community to make this year’s celebration the best one yet.
“We’re really excited about this year. We look forward to making this year’s liberation festivities a time where we remember our history, commemorate the CNMI’s liberation from the camps, honor our veterans and, at the same time, bring a fun-filled day for the community with the parade, great food for our festival grounds, and exciting ways for the community to participate. We just finished our first meeting but there is more exciting information we will share in the coming weeks,” Ayuyu said. (PR)