NMI honors fallen servicemembers

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THE CNMI joined the rest of the nation in honoring its fallen servicemembers on Monday, Memorial Day.

Commonwealth officials, veterans, family members of fallen servicemembers, and community members gathered at the CNMI Veterans Cemetery to pay tribute to the military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

In a joint statement, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres and Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios expressed their deepest gratitude to the fallen servicemembers of the nation.

“We join the families of our heroes to pay tribute to their service and remember their sacrifices. While we cannot honor their memory physically together like we usually do, we keep every family in our prayers,” Torres and Palacios stated.

Saipan Mayor David M. Apatang, for his part, recalled his experience serving in the U.S. Army for two decades.

“I know how tough it is,” he said, as he also expressed his deepest gratitude to America’s fallen servicemembers and their families.


A commemorative wreath that bears the inscription, “In Valor There Is Hope” is laid at the CNMI Veterans Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 25, 2020. Photo by K-Andrea Evarose S. Limol

“They have sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms, which we enjoy today and every day,” House Vice Speaker Lorenzo I. Deleon Guerrero said.

Veterans of Foreign Wars district commander Michael O’Kelley joined other members of the VFW in placing Buddy Poppies — the official memorial flower of the VFW — on the graves at the veterans cemetery.

“The importance is there every day,” O’Kelley said, “but this is the one day of the year that everybody celebrates the sacrifices that our servicemembers made. It does not go away because of a pandemic or anything. We still honor them.”

Also joining the commemoration were Senate President Victor B. Hocog, House Speaker Blas Jonathan T. Attao, CNMI Veterans Affairs Executive Officer Stanley T. Iakopo, and U.S. Army Reserve soldiers from 302nd QM, Det 1, 100 BN Echo Company.



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