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Excerpts from Gov Lemanu’s special remarks at Fagaitua High School graduation

Gov Lemanu and First Lady Ella with others on stage at Faga'itua graduation
Source: Governor’s Office press release

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — On Thursday Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga delivered his special remarks at the Fagaitua High School graduation held at the Fagaitua High School gym.  The following ARE excerpts from the governor’s special remarks.

 “This morning I was looking for the Eastern Star, and there was not one because of the overcast and stormy weather. But, graduates, whether there is a star or not, the Vikings will always know the way to be the first to the fight.  Even if there is no boat, a Viking will take up his sword and always be ready for battle.

 “This morning is a display of your years of dedication and commitment to excellence.  Here on the east side, the main challenge for students is getting ready as early as 4 am to head into town. At the same time, the central parts of the island wake up around 7 am or so.  This is a significant part of building up a life dedicated to service.  Life is more complicated for you here on the east, but you stayed on the path of wanting to serve and serving your families, your villages, your churches.  We are here today due to years of enduring any obstacles to get you to this new beginning.

 “Your support system is fundamental.  Your teachers and families have all helped you figure out what your next step is, and they have all helped to light your flame.

 “The Arlington Cemetery in Virginia has a flame that burns 24 hours a day. 365 days a year.  It is designed to never go out.  The flame signifies that the person laid to rest there was a great leader and that his memory and courage should continue to persevere even during the roughest storms.  It is a reminder that today's leaders are encouraged to keep fighting the good fight and build up leaders of tomorrow.

 “This person served as an Officer in the US Navy and served in combat during World War II.  Later on, he would become the President of the United States of America.  This person was no other than John Fitzgerald Kennedy.  He owns the famous quote, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country." The 'ailao or the siva afi, another is a unique symbol founded by a great local legend Olo "Freddie" Letuli, and mastered by one of our previous Governors, the Honorable Togiola.  By igniting a flame and wrapping it around a nifo oti, Olo would develop a dance that had changed the way the FaaSamoa has been presented to Hollywood and the World. Thus, further empowering the preservation and promotion of the Samoan culture.

 “It is with this same vigor and innovation that you must find YOUR FLAME WITHIN.

 “When you get to the next step on your way along your next journey, you will find some people that will not understand who or what a Samoan is. My challenge is that you never forget your identity. Always promote the Samoan Culture and carry with you your language and your Faith.”

GovLemanu is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the Samoana High School graduation today, Friday June 11th, 2021.