Congratulations Samoa, there is much to celebrate
Say what you will about Samoa and Samoans but this much cannot be denied.
We are a proud people and a nationalistic lot at that too. Yes we may have different views and we disagree on issues from time to time.
Yes we have our problems. Yes we argue and fight. Yes we call each other names and so forth. We are human.
But when it comes to national matters that are close to the heart, such as the celebration of our ancestors achieving their dream of security political independence, we all share the same passion, vigour and pride. We are Samoans, one in spirit and in unity.
The turn out at the Malae o Ti’afau — for the celebration of the 57th Flag Day — was solid proof of this once again. You saw, I saw it; we all witnessed it. The sight of thousands of Samoans lining up to be part of the special occasion was something to behold.
From excited young children who got up early in the morning, to some of the oldest members of the community from all across Samoa and abroad, they all came together to play their part.
The Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, summed it up well in his Independence Day address.
“For every Samoan, whether living at home or anywhere else in the world, June 1 is sacred. It is a celebration of our sovereignty,” he said.
“We fly our flag with joy and enthusiasm in workplaces, schools, homes and neighbourhoods as it is a symbol of our national pride. It is a constant reminder of our striving and our self-belief.
“It is a day to look back with satisfaction and gratitude for what we have been able to achieve due to the efforts of successive generations of our elders. And it is a day to renew our resolve to fill the gaps that still remain in our nation building initiatives - gaps that we aspire our talented youth, with our support, will no doubt fill.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Looking at how things went yesterday, God almighty certainly showed his favour by giving us a glorious day to rejoice and give thanks. From dawn to dusk, we couldn’t have asked for a better day and better conditions to enjoy the celebration of another year added to our journey as a politically independent nation.
Throughout the day, there was such a strong show of pride in ourselves, culture and our country. It was wonderful to see. Coming amidst the doom and gloom of some recent events, it was a breath of fresh air.
Mind you, the celebration was not confined to Mulinu’u. Despite the fact yesterday was a Saturday, it didn’t feel like one at all. The Apia Township was humming with celebrations that lasted until the early hours of this morning.
Indeed, there were mini celebrations right across the country with reunions of sorts organised here and there. Families gathered, church groups united, students met up and so forth.
What’s most wonderful is that yesterday, all of these was held in peaceful atmosphere. Which is remarkable given the challenges and problems with law and order from time to time.
Today, it is important to acknowledge that as a nation we have come a long way. We are blessed in many ways. We are not only blessed to live on such fertile soil, we enjoy a peaceful country relatively sheltered from bloody wars, strife and troubles of near and far. There is much to celebrate.
On that note, we want to acknowledge the Independence Day Organising Committee and everyone involved in making yesterday a success.
Congratulations Samoa on your 57th year of political independence! Have a restful Sunday and a wonderful Independence Day holiday on Monday, God bless!