Pohnpei, Micronesia (November 13, 2009) – On Wednesday, November 11, Veterans of Foreign Wars Day, the U.S. Embassy in Kolonia hosted ceremonies honoring all Micronesians and Americans who have served in the U.S. armed forces.
Attendees at the ceremony included FSM President Emanuel Mori, FSM Vice Speaker Frederico Primo, Pohnpei State Governor John Ehsa, Pohnpei State Legislature Speaker Nelson Pelep, members of the Diplomatic Corps, and other FSM and State Government Officials, as well as local veterans and their families, including family members of soldiers who perished in combat.
Father Francis Hezel of Our Lady of Mercy Church opened the ceremony with the invocation, followed by the singing of the FSM and U.S. National Anthems by local band Pwihno. After members of the Embassy’s Special Service Guards raised the American flag, U.S. Chargé d’Affaires William Douglass, FSM Secretary of Foreign Affairs Lorin Robert, and Sergeant First Class (US Army-retired) Benito Cantero gave brief remarks.
Secretary Robert mentioned the unique relationship that the FSM and the U.S. enjoy under the Compact, including close cooperation for security and defense matters relating to the FSM. SFC Cantero urged veterans to seek all the benefits they are entitled to after their service ends.
Following the remarks, President Mori, Governor Ehsa, Vice Speaker Primo, Chargé Douglass and First Sergeant (US Army-retired) Frank Semens laid wreaths at the Embassy flagpole in remembrance of those veterans who are no longer with us. Master of Ceremonies Jason Wemhoener-Cuite asked for a moment of silence for all veterans and active duty personnel who have died in the past year, including Ron Kersey, Weiner Hadley, Charlie Felton, Waynold Yamaguchi, Cwislyn Walter, and Youvert Loney. Trumpeter Bill Jaynes broke the silence by playing Taps, and Father Hezel closed the ceremony with a benediction.
Going back to Trust Territory times, thousands of Micronesian citizens have served honorably in the U.S. armed forces. The 1986 Compact of Free Association between the United States and the Federated States of Micronesia ensures that Micronesian citizens have the same enlistment rights as American citizens.
For further information about the ceremonies, contact the U.S. Embassy Kolonia in the FSM at (691) 320-2187 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please visit this page of this DOI/OIA website to Fallen Heroes to see list of all known from the insular areas who given the ultimate sacrifice in service.