The Tinian municipality, led by the municipal government of Tinian and Aguiguan, held its own Veterans Day ceremony at the island’s Veterans Memorial Park last Saturday, Nov. 11, starting at 10am.
The ceremony was opened by a parade of the Tinian Junior/High School JROTC led by 1Sgt. Jose T. King, the color guard and its commander, cadet CSM Lisa Nicole Clamor, and battalion commander, cadet Lt. Col. Michelle Quichocho.
The master of ceremony was Jose P. Kiyoshi, a veteran himself of the U.S. Marine Corps.
The national anthem was led by three JROTC cadets: 2Lt. Crizia Rodriguez, Capt. Jovilyn Ancheta, and MSG Isa Rae Dela Cruz.
Tinian Mayor Joey P. San Nicolas, who delivered the welcoming remarks, said that Tinian itself is a veteran community. “Each of us is connected to at least one veteran—whether it is through family, friendship or as colleagues.”
The keynote speaker was U.S. Navy Capt. Jeffrey Grimes, the chief of staff for Joint Region Marianas, who spoke on behalf of Rear Adm. Shoshana Chatfield, the commander for Joint Region Marianas; commander, U.S. Naval Forces Marianas; and U.S. Pacific Command, senior military official Guam, CNMI, Federated States of Micronesia, Palau.
“Here I stand today to say thank you and to pay honor to the men and women who came before me and those who continue to serve, and to those in the future. Thank you to all those brave and selfless warriors who took the same oath that we take today,” Grimes said.
In her closing remarks, Tania Marie Mendiola of the CNMI Military & Veterans Affairs Office on Tinian, said: “Today, you serve the community as a teacher, a government employee, but most importantly a hero and inspiration to our children. You may not wear a cape like Superman, but in those little notes hanging from the students of Tinian Elementary School, you are all their heroes.”
The Tinian Veterans Memorial Park was decorated with pieces of paper that have been cut into hats and heart shapes and colored and written on by students of the Tinian Elementary School.
In one of those hearts, a fifth-grader, Bernadette Fleming, wrote: “Dear veterans, I am very thankful for you to serve and even risk your lives for us. You are the reason why we are alive! We love and appreciate you.” (PR)