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Last updateWed, 18 Sep 2019 12am







    Tuesday, September 17, 2019-6:14:39P.M.






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NMI pays tribute to 9/11 heroes

SAIPAN Mayor David Apatang on Wednesday led the local commemoration of the heroes of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack 18 years ago during the fourth Field of Heroes ceremony at the American Memorial Park Visitor Center.

Despite the bad weather, hundreds of people participated in the motorcade that started at the Garapan Fishing Base. The Visitor Center itself was packed with community members.

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Saipan Mayor David Apatang and Tan Holdings CEO Jerry Tan place a wreath on the stage during the Field of Heroes commemoration at the American Memorial Park Visitor Center on Wednesday.  Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

In his remarks, Apatang said: “It is comforting to see members of our community gather here this evening to pay a very solemn tribute to those who perished in [an] attack on our nation 18 years ago.”

He added, “The memories of that dreadful day 18 years ago are still vivid today as they were when we saw smoke, fire, the collapse of buildings — when we heard the screams, the sirens…the utter chaos….

“Today, we pray for 2,997 individuals, a number that includes civilians and emergency first-responders who lost their lives during and after the attack on Sept. 11, 2001. The families and loved ones left behind, I am sure, will never outlive the pain of loss. But we are here to say that we are here for you. We remain strong because you are strong. We have hope because you remain our heroes. You are in our prayers,” the mayor said.

He also took the opportunity to honor “our own local heroes for their bravery and dedication to help residents and visitors make it through during and after Super Typhoon Yutu” which slammed into Saipan and Tinian in Oct. 2018.

“The recovery after Super Typhoon Yutu was possible because of the many help our community received from countless people, organizations and governments who cared for our people. We thank them today and we want them to know we will always remember their help,” Apatang said.

The annual Field of Heroes commemoration on Saipan, Tinian and Rota is organized by the Tan Siu Lin Foundation to honor community heroes — veterans, military personnel, first responders, law enforcement officers — for their daily service.