What does Citizenship Day mean to you?


Yesterday was Citizenship Day for the people of the Commonwealth. However, no special ceremony was held to honor or observe its significance. Saipan Tribune asked people from various backgrounds what the day means to them. Here is what we’ve gathered:

“Citizenship Day celebrates the day that American citizenship was conferred on the people of the Northern Marianas. That was in 1986, 10 years after we became a Commonwealth in political union with the United States. This day is a time to reflect on, and appreciate, the freedoms, rights, and privileges we enjoy as members of the American political family. It is also a time to remember and exercise the responsibilities of citizenship; to vote and participate in the affairs of our government, to be informed, to speak up for the most vulnerable among us, to serve our community and nation to the best of our abilities. As citizens of this great commonwealth and country, we are called to continually strive to create a more perfect union, and a more just and democratic society.”
—Delegate Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan

“Citizenship means community to me. It means being part of the whole country or even whether it’s your village or town or city, you need to be an active member.”
—John Hirsch, American Red Cross-NMI Chapter executive director

“I’ve been a citizen since I was born but for many, it started in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan signed the declaration and provided all of the Trust Territory passport holders in the Commonwealth American citizenship or an American passport. I think that holds a great honor for the many individuals who received that and every year they recognize this day as a holiday and it’s to recall and remember the day everyone became an American citizen.”
—Alex Sablan, Saipan Chamber of Commerce president

“Citizenship means believing and acting on the idea that it’s my responsibility as much as anyone else’s to create the kind of community that I want to live in.”
—Jenny Hegland, Commonwealth Advocates for Recovery Efforts director

“Being a citizen for me means being someone who is strong. Someone who is an advocate for [his or her] community and truly wants to make a positive difference for the island, family or even the place that you work for.”
—Mable Ayuyu, Saipan Young Professionals chair

“They say the U.S. is a melting pot of the world. I’m proud to be an American. This Citizenship Day is a way to celebrate and recognize that melting pot right here in our backyard. People strive for years to get the coveted symbol of joining a land of freedom and opportunity.”
—Jillian Angeline, KSPN2 news anchor

“It is having the privilege of involving yourself in the community, by work, by family, in the islands here and to consider yourself part of that overall community and its government here in the CNMI.”
—Perry Inos Jr., Saipan Chamber of Commerce board director

“Citizenship Day is when you celebrate being an American citizen and the freedoms, especially since many people in different countries aren’t able to do, like freedom of speech or the freedom to choose your own religion.”
—Del Mendiola, Rotaract Club of Saipan president


Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.