VIPs and the public gather at Malaeoletalu for 121st flag raising
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Gov. Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga delivered his first Flag Day address as chief executive during the scaled-back one day 2021 Flag Day ceremony at Malaeoletalu in Fagatogo, on a cool Friday morning, with the theme, “Triangle of Service: Country, Church, Government”.
This year marks the 121st year since the United States Flag was raised on Sogelau Hill in Fagaotogo on April 17, 1900 on Tutuila island.
The program started at 6:30a.m with arrival of VIPs, with Lt. Gov. Talauega Eleasalo Ale, House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale, President Tuaolo Manaia Fruean and and Chief Justice Michael Kruse.
At the scheduled time, Gov. Lemanu Peleti Palepoi Sialega Mauga arrived at 7a.m. followed by the start of the program, with Tauese Va’aomala Sunia, the new deputy secretary of Samoan Affairs, serving as the master of ceremonies, delivering traditional welcoming Samoan salutation remarks.
CCCAS Petesa Uta Youth Marching Band, debuting the governor’s initiative to revive the marching band program in the community, played the United State of America and American Samoa national anthems and flags were hoisted by police officers from the Department of Public Safety.
CCCAS Petesa Uta Youth Marching Band (left) with their conductor, Tauese Va’aomala Sunia (right), the new deputy secretary of Samoan Affairs, playing the national anthems of the United States and American Samoa at today’s 2021 Flag Day ceremony at Malaeoletalu in Fagatogo. [photo: Leua Aiono Frost]
In his Flag Day address delivered in Samoan, the governor welcomed home the more than 200 passengers who arrived Thursday afternoon on the third repatriation flight from Honolulu, saying that the government will continue the repatriation program until all local residents stranded in the U.S are returned home and reunited with their families.
He said the repatriated passengers from Thursday are in quarantine for 7-days at Tradewinds Hotel and the COVID-19 Task Force, chaired by Talauega, is already working on next month’s repatriation flight.
The governor also spoke about the abundance of new but temporary financial blessings from the federal government in the hands of local residents, but this has cause a shortage of workers at StarKist Samoa cannery, which is looking for workers.
Due to the shortage of workers, StarKist is not meeting production goals, with the cannery unable to ship out the usual amount of product and it’s affecting demand, he pointed out.
To meet the demand, the governor claims that StarKist has transferred some of the production to other countries.
The governor said any impact on StarKist Samoa would also affect the local ecoomy and this affects the government and the community.
By 8a.m. the program was coming to a close, after the governor’s address. (Samoa News will report next week on more details of the governor’s speech.)
The Rev. Feagaiga Tautua Fuiava of the CCCAS Sailele delivered the invocation and benediction while hymns were sung by the Nua and Seetaga CCCAS Choir.
Following the Fagatogo ceremony, VIPs and guests went to DDW Restaurant for breakfast before heading Veterans Memorial Stadium for the Family Day and International Farm Fair.
The public was invited to go straight to the stadium after the flag raising ceremony.
Police officers salute during the playing of the national anthems of the United States and American Samoa at today’s 2021 Flag Day ceremony at Malaeoletalu in Fagatogo. [photo: Leua Aiono Frost]