Photos: Moment of silence and flags raised to half-staff
A moment of silence was observed during yesterday’s Flag Day ceremony at Veterans Memorial Stadium for the three victims of Monday’s bombings during the Boston Marathon.
Flags at the stadium for the ceremony as well as all flags in the territory were flown half-staff in remembrance of the tragedy, which also maimed and injured some 170 people.
During the ceremony, the United States and American Samoa flags were raised to half-staff and it was announced that this was done per order of Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga to honor the memory of the victims of the bombing.
The governor’s order followed a proclamation Tuesday by U.S. President Barack Obama for the U.S. Flag to be flown at half staff throughout the U.S., its territories and other American installations around the world, until Apr. 20th.
The moment of silence was called by Father Viane Etuale, the Vicar General of the Catholic church in the territory, at the start of his invocation and spiritual message for the Flag Day opening ceremony.
“May the souls of those dearly departed rest in peace, and may the Lord and the love of God be with their families,” he said.
In his Flag Day address, Lolo poignantly noted the “heart breaking news” about the victims killed and injured in Boston. The “cowardly act” sent “shock waves around the world” and is a “reminder to all of us to be vigilant in our actions,” he said.
“Let us all join our [U.S.] President in expressing our condolences to the families of the... victims and our prayers for speedy recoveries of those who were wounded in the incident,” said Lolo.
Among the Boston victims was an 8-year old boy, Martin Richard, whose story was covered widely by the national and international news media. His photo, used widely by the media, shows him holding up a sign which says “No more hurting people. PEACE”.
American Samoa’s 8-year old James Pomele, a violinist from the Assembly of God Church in Lepuapua, played the U.S. Anthem when the American flag was raised at the Flag Day ceremony in tribute to the 8-year old victim in Boston.