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“Honoring Our Legacy as We Ride the Waves of Change”

Friday, July 1, 2022

This year marks the 76th year since our ancestors were allowed to return to their family homes, farmlands, and property, to take back their lives and start anew. This truly is a legacy that we all should cherish and preserve as we celebrate Liberation Day from June 30th to July 4th. As a committee, we came up with the theme “Honoring Our Legacy as We Ride the Waves of Change” to pay respects to our ancestors who have prepared us to overcome hardships in our time.

I share the wonderful eight years of experience celebrating our Fourth of July Liberation Day, which was only possible because of the positive and enthusiastic cooperation of our community. I also want to thank our Liberation Day Committee chairmen and subcommittee chairs for all their input and professionalism during each year’s celebration.

I've always known that this will be the last Fourth of July Liberation Day celebration that I would be organizing, and it saddens me. I will be always around to offer my support for future events. At the same time, it makes me happy that our residents and visitors can come out to celebrate the 74th, 75th, and 76th Liberation Days that we missed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I hope that honoring the Fourth of July Liberation Day would encourage all generations of CNMI residents to give thanks to those who sacrificed so much and to remember those who perished during World War II. We also must remember and give thanks to the U.S. Armed Forces for giving us the chance to be here today. Our Fourth of July Liberation Day celebration is a long tradition, and participants and parade watchers have always been impressed by their creativity, ingenuity, and originality.

Back in the day, we did not have as many resources as we do now. In previous years, float participants used their imagination to bring back the ways of the past when they were beginning their lives with the military's help. I hope that the public would appreciate what we have as we showcase our earlier beginnings.

I feel the excitement coming from the community, and it feels great knowing that we have 20 floats this year – the biggest group we’ve had so far. For two years, we did not have a parade on Beach Road and now we're back. This is a public celebration, and I am very happy we were able to make it happen in 2022. We ask for the public's cooperation in making this event cheerful, memorable, and safe.

I hope that the community would remember that we are celebrating a very important moment in our history. We expect many gatherings on all islands. I ask everyone to be responsible, enjoy the parade, drink responsibly, and return home safely with your families. Please be sure to collect your trash and take them home so that we leave our public places clean. Happy Liberation Day to you and yours!

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By Honorable Mayor David M. Apatang

Hon. Mayor David M. Apatang has been the Mayor of Saipan since 2015. He is an Army veteran and has served the CNMI government for decades. As Mayor of Saipan, he is responsible for administering government programs, public services, appropriations, and various federal programs extended to the island. His core responsibilities involve services, programs, and efforts for the community.

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