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Liberation Day will be celebrated ‘virtually’

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THE Saipan mayor’s office on Tuesday announced that this year’s Liberation Day on July 4 will be celebrated “virtually.”

“The coronavirus pandemic currently ravaging the entire world has rarely been seen, has destroyed certainties, undermined assurances, and shattered most of our beliefs,” the statement from the mayor’s office said.

“Never before has humanity appeared so fragile and helpless. We feel the loss and sorrow of not being able to visit families like we used to, socialize like we used to, not being able to worship as we used to, and many more of the new norms.

“Although the hard times are nothing compared with sufferings endured by our elders during Camp Chalan Kanoa we must learn from our forebears that the key to survival in yet another colossal occurrence is to be patient, prayerful, loving, and respectful.”

The mayor’s office said this year’s celebration will be Commonwealth-wide with Saipan joining Tinian, Rota, and the Northern Islands.

“Together, we will weave our Liberation Day events to make sure that we honor our ancestors while meeting all the [Covid-19] guidelines,” the mayor’s office added.

In an interview, assistant to the mayor Henry Hofschneider said their office will collaborate with Gov. Ralph DLG Torres, the Covid-19 Task Force, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp., and KKMP radio station.

He said they plan to set up a stage at Garapan Fishing Base and designate a master of ceremonies.

The program will include remarks from the mayors of Saipan, Rota, Tinian, and Northern Islands, and the governor and other officials.

Everything will be done via Zoom, including the entertainment to be provided by performers, Hofschneider said.

The virtual celebration will also feature 2019 Liberation Queen Pernalyn Janet Borja Camacho and her Royal Court.

There will be no Liberation Queen fundraising pageant this year, Hofschneider said.

On Liberation Day, Mayor David M. Apatang said, “Our office will partner with KKMP radio and other local stakeholders to make sure that we will showcase our resilience as a community during this pandemic.”

“All the while,” he added, “we will pay respects to our forefathers who have done so much to build and sustain our very own culture and heritage. May this Liberation Day be special for our entire community.”

The theme for the 74th Liberation Day commemoration is “Strength in Unity — Marianas Strong.”

The mayor said the program of events will be announced soon.

After the Battle of Saipan ended in 1944, the local people were held in protective custody by the U.S. military in Camp Chalan Kanoa.

On July 4, 1946, they were finally allowed to leave the camp.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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