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Last updateThu, 20 Jun 2019 12am

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    Tuesday, June 18, 2019-9:24:54A.M.

     

     

     

     

     

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WWII civilian casualties honored at Marianas Memorial

GOVERNMENT officials led by acting Gov. Arnold I. Palacios joined community members on Tuesday for honoring the Chamorros and Carolinians who perished in World War II.

The event, which was held at the Marianas Memorial of American Memorial Park, coincided with the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the Battles of Saipan and Tinian.

Government officials and community members gather at the Marianas Memorial to honor the Chamorros and Carolinians who perished in World War II.Government officials and community members gather at the Marianas Memorial to honor the Chamorros and Carolinians who perished in World War II.

“Today as we honor our family members who perished in the war,” acting Governor Palacios said, “We pause not just to honor their memories but also to reflect on the price of war paid by the people.”

The program, which started at 10 a.m., opened with the traditional blowing of the conch shell by Luis Kapileo followed by Rep. Luis John Castro performing a traditional chant.

Acting Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao take the lead in the wreath-laying ceremony.Acting Gov. Arnold I. Palacios and Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao take the lead in the wreath-laying ceremony.

Joining Palacios in the wreath-laying ceremony were Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, Northern Islands Mayor Ben Santos, U.S. Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, Speaker Blas Jonathan Attao, Carolinian Affairs Office Executive Director John Tagabuel, CNMI Veterans Affairs Office Executive Director Stanley Iakopo and Ben Salas of the Indigenous Affairs Office.

The Christian Mothers and family members performed a song while Chalan Kanoa Diocese Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez blessed the monument.

In her remarks, Saipan and Northern Islands Municipal Council Chairwoman Debra T. Camacho acknowledged the presence of some of the family members of the civilian casualties.

Government officials offer their prayers.Government officials offer their prayers.

“We give thanks for the gift of life and the perseverance to face our challenges,” she added.

The Marianas Memorial serves as the tombstone for the Chamorros and Carolinians who lost their lives during the war and whose final resting places have remained untraceable.

Chalan Kanoa Diocese Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez blesses the Marianas Memorial.  Photos by Junhan B. TodiñoChalan Kanoa Diocese Bishop Ryan P. Jimenez blesses the Marianas Memorial. Photos by Junhan B. Todiño

The posting of the colors was led by the Department of Public Safety Color Guard while the singing of the U.S. and CNMI anthems was led by Gus Kaipat.

Pastor Ray Kinsella of Grace Christian Church led the benediction while John Oliver Gonzales served as the master of ceremonies.