The month of November was designated yesterday as CNMI Veterans and Military Families Month, with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres signing the proclamation at the Office of the Governor on Capital Hill.
This comes as the United States prepares to mark Nov. 11 as Veterans Day not just in the United States but also in its territories.
According to Stanley T. Iakopo, executive officer of the Veterans Affairs Office, the proclamation signing is intended to honor those who have served, the fallen heroes, servicemen and women, and their families.
Though there are anti-COVID-19 rules that are against gathering, Iakopo said the OVA will have a small ceremony on Veterans Day that will celebrate and honor veterans for their patriotism and willingness to serve and sacrifice. “It will be a day set aside to remind us and think about the sacrifices of our veterans,” he said. “[In fact] we should be honoring our veterans every day and not just once a year.”
Brad Ruszala, who heads the local chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, stated that he’s thankful that we have a CNMI government that supports and honors the commitment made by the men and women of the CNMI.
“When we volunteer to serve, we do so without asking for recognition, but it sure is nice to know that when we come home from training or from deployments, that we have the support of a grateful community,” he said.
Ruszala said that no one should feel pressured to do something to honor veterans; however, if they would like to show their support for the men and women who are deployed overseas, they can hang yellow ribbons around the island or show their support through their social media posts.