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    Saturday, September 21, 2019-2:19:10P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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Amelia Earhart monument to help boost NMI tourism, says local author

LOCAL author and newly elected president of the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Inc., Marie Castro, believes that a monument dedicated to aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart and flight navigator Fred Noonan will put Saipan in the global spotlight and help boost its tourism industry.

“The monument will be revered worldwide as the ultimate shrine to the heroic sacrifices of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan,” Castro said.

Marie Castro

The co-author of “Marie Castro: My Life and Amelia Earhart’s Saipan Legacy” said she will continue her advocacy in providing information surrounding Earhart and Noonan’s disappearance in the Pacific while trying to fly around the world in 1937.

In Aug. 2018, Castro said she attended the State of the Commonwealth Address of Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, adding that she was thankful that he encouraged community members to “tell your story.”

She said the governor also encouraged everyone to share worthwhile ideas that may contribute to the island’s economic growth.

“It is time for Saipan to take ownership of the Earhart-on-Saipan Truth and to spread that truth not just in the region, but worldwide,” she said.

Castro said the proposed monument can “ultimately encompass a museum, a library, a gift-shop and a research institute for worldwide Amelia Earhart researchers to have a place to come and do their work.”

She added, “With the right infrastructure in place, visitors from all over the world with an interest in Amelia Earhart’s story and her ‘mysterious’ end will come to Saipan.”

Researchers and visitors will see the sites mentioned in the literature, and can buy souvenirs, paraphernalia and books commemorating their visit to Saipan, Castro said

She said the monument will be the first “iconic symbol of Earhart-on-Saipan Truth.”

“It will become the trademarked symbol of the story and the site. It will act as the instantly recognizable logo of Saipan’s Earhart tourism industry, its products and its attractions and services.”

Castro believes that Earhart and Noonan “met their final days on Saipan.”

“Our elders have seen the American woman pilot and her navigator in 1937 here on Saipan,” she said, adding that Earhart was not executed by the Japanese but died of dysentery and was cremated.

In Japanese culture, the dead are cremated, Castro added.

She said Jose Sadao Tomokane attended the cremation of the American pilot.

“Marie Castro: My Life and Amelia Earhart’s Saipan Legacy,” which Castro co-authored with Mike Campbell, is available at the CNMI Museum. It is is open from Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The proceeds of the book will go to the proposed monument project on Saipan.