The Marianas Memorial Blessing and Remembrance ceremony to honor the civilians who died during World War II was held at the American Memorial Park last Friday.
The event, which is dubbed the “In Memoriam” celebration, had Northern Islands Mayor Jerome Kaipat Aldan giving remarks to those in attendance.
“This is a great event. …It’s an annual thing that brings together the families of those listed here and it is important to always remember these folks because the freedom we have today is a result of them helping out during the war,” Kaipat said.
This is the second year that Aldan is supporting the event. He said he intends to continue attending as long as he is here in the CNMI.
When asked if other islands such as Rota and Tinian should hold their own memorial service, Aldan said, “I think that question was actually brought up in one committee meeting. I’m not going to say that it would be, in my position, a good idea but I think the best thing we can do is sit together and see how we can work these things out.”
Also in attendance was “In Memoriam” essay writing contest winner Amae Reyes and acting Saipan mayor Antonia M. Tudela, who joined Aldan in a wreath-laying ceremony to honor the civilian deaths of the Pacific War in the CNMI.
Light refreshments were served soon after the ceremony. Frankie Eliptico was the master of ceremonies.
Over 900 lives were commemorated during the ceremony, with Saipan Southern High School’s JROTC assisting in the event.
Tudela extended her thanks to the event’s planning committee partners, Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, the Veterans Affairs Office, the Carolinian Affairs Office, the Women’s Affairs Office, Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council adviser William Torres, the Office on Aging, Saipan Tribune, Marianas Variety, and the staff in the municipal council for their support.
“Your presence today honors the lives that were lost during this war, and before we leave today, I ask that you continue to remember them and to continue to honor them. Because of your prayers, thoughts, and presence, they shall never be forgotten,” said Tudela.