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June 10-17 is 75th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Week

GOVERNOR Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios on Thursday signed a proclamation designating June 10-17, 2019 as 75th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Week.

Saipan Mayor David Apatang, a veteran, said the 75th commemoration of World War II is important in the CNMI. “We want to make sure that we remember those soldiers, sailors and Marines. We cannot forget the people who have given their lives for our freedom.”

He said the Northern Marianas was caught in the crossfire of the war between the United States and Japan.

This year’s week-long celebration will commemorate the Battle of Saipan which began on June 15, 1944 and the Battle of Tinian which started on July 24, 1944.

“The Battle of Saipan and the Battle of Tinian were pivotal moments that helped shape world history, as the Marianas became a key strategic location to allow United States B-29 bombers striving distance to the Japanese mainland that eventually ended the war,” stated the proclamation.

As a result of the two incidents, 932 Chamorros and Carolinians perished and many local civilians were displaced from their homes and lands.

Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios on Thursday sign a proclamation designating June 10-17, 2019 as 75th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Week. Also in the photo are first lady Diann Torres, Veterans of Foreign Wars District 6 Commander Michael A. O’Kelly.  Photo by Lori Lyn C. LirioGov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios on Thursday sign a proclamation designating June 10-17, 2019 as 75th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Week. Also in the photo are first lady Diann Torres, Veterans of Foreign Wars District 6 Commander Michael A. O’Kelly. Photo by Lori Lyn C. Lirio

“More than 3,000 U.S. Marines, sailors, soldiers and Coast Guard men gave their lives for the freedom that we have today, and are honored at the Court of Honor at American Memorial Park,” stated the proclamation. “The people of the Northern Mariana Island are forever grateful for the heroism and patriotism of the World War II veterans who gave their last full measure of devotion in defense of our freedom.”

Over the years, veterans who survived World War II have visited the battlefields they fought 75 years ago.

Tinian Mayor Edwin Aldan said he appreciates the veterans and their families who come down to Tinian to honor what the fallen servicemembers went through. “Over the years, despite what happened to the world, we continue to open our doors, our hearts and our minds for them,” he added.

The governor said his father and uncle grew up without their father because of the war.

“I grew up not having to go through that event. But I do appreciate all the sacrifices they gave for our freedom,” he said, referring to the servicemembers.

Palacios, for his part, said: “75 years is a long time but I am glad there are people in our community that continue to commemorate that part of our history and the sacrifices made that have allowed us to be where we are today.”