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Dear Editor:

Because I have no time to in-person meet with Director Matagi R. McMoore of Port Administration to request postponement of his proposed plan for the M.V, Sili, I hope you will print this letter. 

Director McMoore, please reconsider your plan to dry-dock the M.V. Sili this week, for the sake of our residents who have left for Tutuila to witness their children, relatives, and siblings graduate from high school, unless further delayed for at least two weeks will cause irreparable harm to the vessel.

Today, Saturday, May 26, 2012, hundred of residents left for Tutuila to attend our children's graduation.  More would have liked to go, like myself, but could not because no space was available.  Our folks who left would like to return immediately after graduation with our graduates for homecoming celebrations with families at home. If the M.V. Sili were to go for repairs this week, the majority of people, especially those from Ofu and Olosega, could not afford the expensive cost to return by airplane.

Several of our graduates plan to leave American Samoa to attend college and join the military. They want to come home, maybe for the last time, to bid farewell to their families and invoke the spirits of their ancestors to help in their endeavors.

Wherefore, for the above-mentioned reasons and as a resident and representative of our folks here, I pray that you, Director McMoore, will postpone your immediate plan for the M.V. Sili until after the graduation week.

Respectfully yours,

Toeaina F. Autele