On Wednesday, those in American Samoa celebrated the 119th Flag Day commemorating the day they officially became a U.S. territory. Rear Adm. Kevin Lunday, commander Coast Guard 14th District, Command Master Chief Lori Fields, and Capt. Mike Long, commander Coast Guard Sector Honolulu, were on hand to participate and share in the festival events.
"From the day in 1900 when the U.S. Navy first established a naval base here, to when these islands became a U.S. territory the same year, through World War II, to today, American Samoa has served as a position of strategic strength for U.S. security and prosperity. From Navy and Coast Guard ships that call on the port of Pago Pago for fuel and other logistics, to the fishers and canneries that harvest and process tuna and feed the world," said Lunday.
American Samoans have served with distinction in the U.S. military around the world, defending our freedom and way of life in war and peace.
The theme of the 2019 Flag Day celebration is To Prepare Our Youth for Future Challenges.
"I applaud the focus," said Lunday. "Certainly young people today face many of the same challenges that we met when we stood in their shoes, a few years ago. Well, perhaps it was more like many decades ago. However, because of today’s increasingly complex world, young people today face more significant challenges in many ways than we did, perhaps problems we cannot even yet imagine. I am optimistic about the next generation. They inspire me daily by their strength and fearlessness. Also, we must prepare our youth for that challenging future. First by setting the example. Next by teaching them. Finally, by honoring our heritage to reinforce our values. So today, this celebration, is an integral part of that preparation."
American Samoa is one of five U.S. territories including Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
courtesy Lydia Faleafine-Nomura and Lt. Victoria Lacefield-Rodriguez
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American Samoa Government AmericanSamoa U.S. Coast Guard U.S. Indo-Pacific Command