All roads lead to Saipan in June as the CNMI celebrates Liberation Day and the 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Saipan and Tinian.
Both Saipan Mayor Donald G. Flores and 70th Anniversary committee chair Vicente “Ben” Camacho have agreed to combine the two events.
The two-week-long celebration kicks off on June 6 and culminates in the parade on June 15. The 70th Anniversary of the Battle of Saipan and Tinian will pay tribute to the veterans, both Japanese and Americans, as well as World War II survivors in a special ceremony to be held at the American Memorial Park on June 15. Tinian will hold its ceremony on June 12.
“It will be a celebration of decades of efforts to promote peace and camaraderie between former World War II enemies,” said Camacho. Our theme is “Reunion of Honor”.
Saipan traditionally holds Liberation Day on the Fourth of July coinciding with the U.S. Independence Day.
“I asked Mayor Donald Flores to make an exception this year so we could coordinate the activities of both Liberation Day and the 70th Anniversary,” said Camacho.
The invasion of Saipan began on June 15 two days following two days of bombardment by 15 battleships.
“The Marines took the lead in the invasion with 8,000 of them on the beaches west of Saipan on June 15,” said Camacho.
Camacho told the mayor that it would be more cost-effective to hold the two events together.
“It makes sense that we combine the two events. I join chairman Ben in encouraging the members of our community to take part in this historic occasion,” said Flores.
Although the two events will be merged, Flores and Camacho agreed that there will still be a celebration on the Fourth of July.
Flores also looks forward to having the visiting World War II veterans and their families on Saipan.
“That is something to celebrate—70 years of the Battle of Saipan. But that is not undermining the celebration of Liberation Day. It is the same event that we would like to join. We’ll support it as much as we can,” said Flores
He also said his office will coordinate with the Committee as they prepare to synchronize their planned activities.
For those interested to participate in the search for Liberation Queen, or join in the Best Float contest in the parade, entertainment, or as vendors at the festival grounds, contact the Office of the Mayor at 234-6208.
Tour companies and World War II aficionados may contact 70th Anniversary committee chair Vicente Ben Camacho at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on these events, call the Marianas Visitors Authority at 664-3200. (70th Anniversary of the Battle of Saipan Organizing Committee)