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Author Topic: Anniversary of Sept. 29 tsunami and quake time to remember lost ones  (Read 4242 times)

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Tavita Tusitala

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 September 29, 2010)– Governor Togiola Tulafono today marked the first anniversary of the September 29, 2009 earthquake and tsunami with an interdenominational remembrance sunrise service at Su’iga’ula Beach Park in Utulei.

Joined by Lieutenant Governor Faoa Sunia, Mrs. Elisapeta Sunia, Chief Justice Leala’ialoa Michael Kruse, Senate President Gaoteote Pala’ie Tofau, House Speaker Savali Talavou Ale, and National Council of Churches (NCC) Chairman Rev. Sauleone Aigofie, Governor Togiola said the 6am prayer service was a gathering to memorialize an event that American Samoa would rather not remember.

“Let us be clear, we are not here to revisit the horror of one year ago, but to remember with love and compassion, our loved ones whom we lost on that day,” said Governor Togiola. “We are here for them and we are here for their families. It is to their memory that we have come to listen with our hearts to the message of consolation from the Spirit of Love that watches over us.” (Full speech in English and Samoan below)

At 6:48am, the exact time of the earthquake which resulted in the subsequent tsunami, a bell was rung 34 times to symbolize the number of victims of the natural disaster in the Territory. A moment of silence followed the striking of the bell.

NCC Chair Rev. Sauleone Aigofie, Catechist, Catholic Diocese of Samoa Pago Pago, led the church service with the Scripture read by Rev. Ioane Vailasi, Church of Nazarene, Nu’uuli. Prayer and general intercessions were given Rev. Vito Lesoa of Methodist Church in Vatia, and the sermon was delievered by Rev. Elder Kalepo Vaitautolu, CCCAS Vaitogi.

The hymns were sung by choirs from the Departments of Human and Social Services, Human Resources, Public Safety and Health.

The following is the official text of Governor Togiola’s 9.29 remembrance service address:


FIRST ANNIVERSARY REMEMBRANCE SERVICE
of September 29, 2009 Earthquake and Tsunami
by Governor Togiola Tulafono
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Su’iga’ula, Utulei, American Samoa

 
We are gathered this morning to memorialize an event that we would rather not remember. So, let us be clear, we are not here to revisit the horror of one year ago, but to remember with love and compassion, our loved ones whom we lost on that day. We are here for them and we are here for their families. It is to their memory that we have come to listen with our hearts to the message of consolation from the Spirit of Love that watches over us.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt described the day Japan attacked Pearl Harbor without warning, as “a day that will live in infamy.” September 29, 2009 was a day of infamy for Samoa. 

We have a tradition of closure with regards to the loved ones who have departed. It occurs one full year from the day they returned to the earth. It is called “talagāteu.” Can we consider this as our talagāteu, the day of closure?

It is not difficult to delete and erase fond memories of loved ones. I know. But it is essential that we move forward, lift our heads and look to the future.

Today, I repeat the many words of thanks and gratitude we have often said since last September, to the countless kind hearts who rushed to our aid – our federal government and its many agencies, especially the Federal Emergency Management Administration, U. S. Congress, Department of the Interior, military services, the various organizations, churches, and individual contributors, governments and territories around our region of the Pacific. As governor, I speak for all of American Samoa in saying: Fa’afetai. Fa’afetai tele lava [Thank you. Thank you very much.] The tsunami has shown that love and compassion are alive in the hearts of men and women.

Words alone cannot cover the measure of kindness shown by our own people.  Relatives and neighbors, friends we know and friends we have never met, shared and provided shelter and sustenance. It was revealing of the true nature of our people. It was the real fabric of our social system – the communal way of life. We take care of each other. 

Today, I stand with pride; Pride that comes from knowing that I am a part of a great people. Great because they are loving. Great because they are caring. Our people love and care for each other.

Finally, the tsunami has underscored the message of being prepared. September is National Preparedness Month. Let us remind ourselves from here on, to let readiness be our policy. I am pleased to see the warning system is in place, schools are holding drills on how to evacuate. I am very happy to see that our Department of Local Government is working with pulenu’u in marking trails and escape routes. These are all major accomplishments. All these little things will be of major importance if another tsunami strikes. Our prayer, however, is that we never see another tsunami as long as we live.

I call on all American Samoans to remember with fond memories those who have lost their lives so that they may live forever. Soifua.

LAUGA I LE SAUNIGA FA’AMANATU
O LE MAFUI’E MA LE GALU LOLO O SETEMA 29
Kovana Sili Togiola T.A. Tulafono
Aso Lulu, Setema 29, 2010
Su’iga’ula, Utulei, Amerika Samoa


Ua tatou potopoto ma fai tapua’iga fa’atasi i Su’iga’ula nei e fa’amanatu se aso e lē fia manatua. A e peita’i, e lē o le fia fafagu o le tigā ma le loto nutimomoia, a o le fia fa’alogo ifo lemu i le toto’a ma le filemu a o fa’amafanafana mai le agaga pa’ia o le Atua; o le Atua alofa.   

E tatou te manatua la ma le fa’anoanoa ma le alofa ia tatou pele ua maliliu, a e ao fo’i e tatau ona tatou manatua ma le agaga fa’afetai le alofa lavea’i o le Atua aua ua avea na o se to’aitiiti, a e ua fa’asao le to’atele o le atunu’u.

Fai mai le molimau a Peresetene Franklin Delano Roosevelt i le aso na osofa’ia fa’alilolilo ai e Iapani le taulaga i Pearl Harbor, o se aso o le a ola pea i tala’aga o mea mata’utia ma le inosia, i le tala fa’asolopito o le tatou Malo ma mea na tutupu i le lalolagi. E fa’apena le taeao segisegi lea na fa’amanu pu’ea i ofaga ai le atunu’u i le tausaga taluai; na a’e fa’agaoi ai le galu lolo i le talafatai o le Fagaloa, fa’apea Fofo ma Alataua i sisifo. Ae maise fo’i le fa’ata’amilosaga o motu o Amerika Samoa. Sa momoe i manu e le fati, a o le mala na sau e atia’i.

O le a mātamāta tetele i taeao faitauina o lo tou soifua ma lo tatou olaga fa’aleatunu’u; auā o le taeao na tā’ele toto ai Gagamoe, Laloifi ma Falesau ma le Faleomavaega.

O le taeao o le aue ma loimata maligi, a o fetafea’i tino maliliu o a tatou matua, o alo ma fanau, e pei o ni laupepa manifinifi.

O le taeao alafa’i sulusulu ma na ta’avao ai le atunu’u ona o le fia ola.

O le taeao na talitonu moni ai le tagata soifua, e mata’utia galuega a le natura, po o le aoao o mea na faia e le Silisili Ese.

Na fo’i i le tai le galu lolo, a e tatou molimauina se tasi o va’aiga na ofo atili ai le loto, o se tasi o lagona o le a ola ma manatua pea i agaga, o aiga tua’oi e lē i afaina, e lē i fa’atuai le a’apa atu ma fesoasoani.

O ekalesia, o pisinisi, o fa’alapotopotoga ese’ese ma tagata ta’itoatasi, na tula’i e galulue fa’atasi ma lo tatou Malo e fa’ao’o le fesoasoani ma le lavea’i. 

Sa fa’aavanoa o outou maota ma laoa. E o’o mai nei o lo’o alaala lē tumau pea nisi i fale o aiga ma uo.

I lenei la avanoa, Tutuila ma Manu’a, ou te toe fia avatu ai le fa’afetai, ma le agaga fa’afetai tele, ma le fa’afetai tele le lava i le atunuu atoa ona o le agaga alofa ma le fesoasoani na fa’aalia. E moni le Tusi, o aso fa’apena e iloa ai uso e laveitigā le tino moni.

Na fa’aalia e le sunami e i ai moni lava le alofa; o lo’o nofo mau lava i o tatou maota ma laoa ma le lalolagi.

Na tatou va’aia le tula’i fa’anatinati mai o le Malo Tele o le Iunaite Setete, o ona fa’alapotopotoga ese’ese, o tagata o lotu ese’ese, o le Koluse Mumu, e o’o lava i isi atunu’u o le lalolagi ma tagata tatou te lē i masani na lolofi mai e fia fesoasoani ma fia tigā fa’atasi. E moni lava, o lo’o ola malosi le alofa; o lo o nōfofale i tulimanu ese’ese o le kelope.

Ia fai ia lo’u leo ma sui o tatou uma, Tutuila ma Manu’a, pe afai e mafai ona o’o atu lea leo i Malo, i atunu’u, ekalesia, fa’alapotopotoga, ma tagata ta’ito’atasi uma, e o’o lava i tatou aiga, uo ma e masani, o e na a’apa mai e lavea’i ma fesoasoani, i le tatou aso mafatia: Fa’afetai, fa’afetai, fa’afetai tele lava.

O le vaiaso ua te’a, pei ona outou silafia, na malaga mai ai le sui o le Palemia mai le Malo o Papua Niu Kini, e tau’a’ao mai le fesoasoani, e miliona tala Niu Sila (US$726,300). Fai mai lana saunoaga, e lē galo le alolofa o tagata Samoa ua ola ai le atunu’u o Papua Niu Kini i le manino malamalama o le lalolagi i ona po nei. O le molimau ola. O le molimau soifua. E lē galo lou alofa.

Le mamalu o lo tatou atunu’u o lo’o alaala i fafo, ekalesia, fa’alapotopotoga ese’ese, ma tagata ta’itoatasi o le atunu’u, fa’afetai tele. O le a lē galo. O o tou fesoasoani na tu’ufa’atasi ma fesoasoani fa’apito lava i nai outou aiga, fa’afetai.

Mo le tatou Malo o Amerika Samoa, mai ona ta’ita’i e o’o i tagata faigaluega uma, fa’afetai, fa’afetai tele, i lo tou ma’au ma lo tou milomilosia.

Ua lasi fa’amanuiaga. Na lasi fe’au fa’amaise sa tu’uina mai e le atunu’u ae maise o aiga sa mafatia ma ogotia ona o lenei fa’alavelave.

Ua taunu’u ai se tasi o fetalaiga a le Ali’i o Iesu, lo tatou Fa’aola: “Amuia e fa’anoanoa, aua e fa’amafanafanaina.” Silasila i fa’amafanafaga na tatou maua: E lē gata i le ofo alolofa a le to’atele, a o talosaga sa tu’uina mai ma logoina mai i itu e fia o le lalolagi.

A o tatou manatu la ma le alofa i a tatou lava pele ua avea, a o tatou ’oa’oa i le lagona o le alofa ma le fesoasoani ua masa’a mai, tatou manatua fo’i mafatiaga o itu e fia o le lalolagi; le miliona ma miliona i Afakanisitana, Iraki, Aferika, Rusia, Amerika i Saute, ma itu ese’ese fo’i o lo tatou lava Malo o Amerika ona o mala fa’anatura.

Tatou te lē fa’atalitali tigā, e lē taupulea fo’i ni mala.  A e lē tū’ia pe taofia ai le nofo sauni ma le mataala i taimi uma. O lea ua fa’amalosi e le sunami le taua o nisi o tatou porokarama sauni. Ua ta ta logo mai pea le Matagaluega o Saogalemu Fa’aloto’ifale, aemaise le ‘au va’ai tau ma isi vaega o la tatou Malo. Ia nofo sauniuni ma tapenapena. Aua le fa’atamala.

O le masina fo’i lenei o Setema o le masina ua tu’upoina ma fa’apitoa o le masina fa’amanatu: O le fa’amanatu, o le tapena, o le sauniuni. O tapenaga sauinuni fo’i na e mautinoa ai le fa’asaoina o le to’atele o isi soifua i le tausaga taluai ona e tupu ane le fa’alavelave o lo’o fa’aauau pea le tapenapena ma sauniuni.

Ua talafeagai fo’i lenei sauniga ma lenei fa’amanatuga ma le fa’au’uga o nei sauniuniga ma tapenapenaga fa’aleatunu’u ma fa’alemalo.

Le atunu’u e, ia fusifusi atili pea e le agaga o le Atua loto mafatia ma loto nutimomoia, a ia avea tigā ma fatu o fa’amanuiaga. 

Soifua le atunu’u.   

Source: American Samoa Government

 


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