Gov. Ralph DLG. Torres was in Washington, D.C. over the course of last week on an invitation to attend the state funeral for former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away on Nov. 30, 2018.
The CNMI flag was flown at the state funeral at the Washington National Cathedral, together with the 17 other states and territories in attendance.
“A very solemn memorial tribute for a great statesman who led our nation through the end of the Cold War with humility and dignity,” Torres said. He was accompanied at the state funeral by first lady Diann Torres.
Bush was later buried on Dec. 7 in Texas.
Bush visited Saipan in 1985 when he was Vice President. He toured World War II sites and met with CNMI leaders, including then-governor Pedro P. Tenorio. Bush, the 41st President of the United States, was a former WWII naval aviator in the Pacific.
After the state funeral ceremony, Torres visited the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters, where he met with FEMA administrator Brock Long to discuss the ongoing recovery efforts in the wake of Super Typhoon Yutu.
“Administrator Long has been such a critical partner for us since before the storm and has assured me and the CNMI that FEMA and our federal partners will do everything they can to help us on our road to recovery. I thank them and the entire FEMA and federal family on island and from around the country for being away from home and helping us during our time of need,” Torres said.
Later that same day, Torres met with officials at the Department of the Interior, including Secretary Ryan Zinke and Assistant Secretary for Insular and International Affairs Doug Domenech. Zinke and Domenech visited Saipan and Tinian in September, when he met with the governor and his executive team, as well as members of the Legislature and private sector leaders.
“[Zinke, Domenech, and] Office of Insular Affairs director Nik Pula have been true partners for the CNMI, and they strongly supported our recovery with $1.6 million in OIA technical assistance and CIP funding. We’re working on more federal assistance in the near future,” Torres said.
From Washington, D.C., the governor flies to Hawaii, where he has scheduled meetings for the Western Governors Association and the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. At the WGA Winter Meeting, Torres will join the Western Governors in roundtable discussions on renewable energy, the outdoor recreation economy, healthcare, veterans’ issues and the Western Governors’ Biosecurity and Invasive Species Initiative. They will also meet with Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue on farming issues, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert Wilkie on veterans’ issues, and U.S. Small Business Administration administrator Linda McMahon on disaster assistance and workforce development. (PR)