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No Liberation Day festivities this year

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SAIPAN Mayor David M. Apatang on Monday announced the cancelation of the Liberation Day festivities that culminate in a Fourth of July parade.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has altered the way we conduct our daily activities as we must constantly practice social distancing and avoid large gatherings,” he said in a statement.

In the interest of protecting everyone from the risk of exposure to Covid-19, the mayor said he has decided that celebrating Liberation Day with a weeklong festival and parade will have to be put off until it is safe to have a celebration.

“July 4th will still be recognized as a legal holiday, but our traditional festival at the Garapan Fishing Base and July 4th parade along Beach Road will have to be canceled,” he said.

Liberation Day is the biggest public event in the NMI, he added, and its celebration has been a tradition even before the enactment of Saipan Municipal Ordinance No. 68 in 1968 that designated July 4th as a legal holiday on island.

“This year’s celebration will be the 74th anniversary of the opening of the gates of the camps in Susupe and Chalan Kanoa, liberating many of our elders from confinement…. [E]ach one of us has a responsibility to teach our generation of today of the struggles and uncertainty [our elders] faced after the war,” the mayor said.

“We regret to have made this decision, but each one of us has a duty to ensure that we protect one another from the spread of the Covid-19, a virus that has turned almost every person’s life upside down.  But because we are all in this together, we will make it through and return to our way of life before the pandemic,” the mayor said.

“We appreciate everyone’s understanding and support during this period of uncertainty,” the mayor said.   

 

 

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