This letter is to express my personal gratitude to the residents of Saipan and Tinian for the gracious hospitality and reception extended to Senator Murkowski and the other members of the congressional delegation, which visited the CNMI on March 27, 2018.
As a person who resides primarily in Alaska, but who spends approximately a quarter of each year on island on various matters, I was honored to be able to assist Senator Murkowski in her visit to Tinian and Saipan. As indicated, my wife, Brenda, and myself have been coming to the Northern Mariana Islands since 1981.We have two Pacific Islander children who we have adopted, and we consider the CNMI to be our second home. Needless to say, after several years of regularly asking Senator Murkowski to visit to CNMI, we were honored and pleased that Senator Murkowski had agreed to accept our long-standing invitation. The Senator’s visit to the islands, especially at the period of time during the current CW issues, was particularly timely and provided significant input for her in the decision-making process on issues so critical to the CNMI.
I would especially like to compliment and thank all of those individuals who were involved in making the senator’s trip such a successful trip. I was especially pleased with the kindness and graciousness shown by both Congressman Kilili and Governor Torres who, despite their political differences, (which one can always expect in a political environment), were still quite welcoming and most generous and kind hosts.
Although Senator Murkowski’s visit was brief, I believe that the senator worked hard to expose herself as much as possible to both Tinian and Saipan, to meet the people, to view the region and to understand important issues. In addition, the senator remarked on two occasions at the end of the trip that she fully intends to return to Saipan. I found this announcement to be particularly heartwarming and encouraging, recognizing that Alaska and the Northern Mariana Islands share many similar issues given our remoteness and distance from Washington, D.C., logistics, energy issues, and the economy.
Finally, Senator Murkowski did communicate with me recently in a text message following her return to Alaska. In that message, the Senator expressed her enjoyment of the trip, stating, “Great visit to Saipan Bill. Thanks for making it so special. You were absolutely right —the island and the people are beautiful.”
We should all be proud.
Bill and Brenda Satterberg