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Monday is Memorial Day — a federal holiday In American Samoa

Memorial Day banner

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Observed on the last Monday in May, Memorial Day — formerly known as Decoration Day — commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in military service.

Extended to a three-day weekend, Monday, May 27, 2024 is a federal and local holiday for most of the nation’s workers. It is also the official start of the summer.

National observance of Memorial Day is marked by the U.S. President placing a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

Memorial Day in American Samoa marks the day our community remembers all our loved ones who have passed on, and the Memorial Day weekend activities include cleaning, painting and decorating gravesites island-wide. By Monday morning, flowers — fresh and plastic — along with other decorations will adorn the island’s graves.

Look to barbecues alongside gravesites, as well as a general family gatherings.

Congresswoman Uifa’atali Amata draws attention to the serious wars in several regions of the world, and reminds everyone while we pray for peace, we rely on the readiness of our strong U.S. military.

  “Throughout the history of the United States, in every generation, there have been brave Service members who gave all for the country, for others, and the cause of freedom,” she said. “On other important holidays, we honor all our military and veterans as each one has taken on the possibility of making that greatest sacrifice. Memorial Day is special in remembrance of those who never came home from the fields of battle.”

“In our islands’ 124-year history as part of the U.S., many of our Toa o Samoa have served with honor, distinction, and valor, and some of them gave their lives. A 2009 analysis of the war in Iraq verified that our people had given more lives per capita than any other part of the United States. We cherish their memories as family and friends, but also heroes and patriots.”

“Currently, there are serious wars in several regions of the world, and while we pray for peace, we rely on the readiness of our strong U.S. military,” concluded Amata. “This Memorial Day, we think of all these honored departed, the blessings of freedom, and especially our own dear military families remembering a loved one.”

A common sight throughout the territory on Monday will be U.S. and American Samoa flags flying over many of the gravesites paying tribute to our fallen soldiers.

With Monday a holiday, all government offices will be closed and normal activities are suspended. Employees not required to perform essential service shall be excused from their duties, according to the governor. Those required to work, will receive holiday wages in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

A majority of businesses will also be closed Monday and the US Post Office — along with other local federal offices will be closed.

In honor of Memorial Day, Samoa News will not have a print edition Monday. We will return to print on Wednesday, May 29 and updates are available on our website and Facebook pages.

There have been several car accidents over the last few days — please be careful out there — have a safe and blessed Memorial Day.