“What is a Veteran?” You might ask. A veteran is someone who has dedicated their lives to serve, protect, and honor our country. Also, a veteran can be anyone that has put in the time to give back to the community. On the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, they announced Armistice Day, which declared the end of World War I. For 2019 Veterans Day, the Tinian High School JROTC Stallion Battalion marched with pride while singing cadence from the Fiesta Grounds to the Veterans Memorial Park. A waving was done by Team Koka at the Intersection of the Office of Aging as the battalion marched by.
The community of Tinian joined together to celebrate and honor all our veterans who served in times of war and in times of peace. The Master of Ceremony was Mr. William Cing, a Vietnam War veteran. The posting of colors was done by the United States Army Reserve Theater Support Group Detachment Marianas Color Guard Team of the 9th Mission Support Command. Mr. Joseph San Nicolas (Tinian Mayor’s Office) sang the U.S. National Anthem and CNMI Hymn. Father Anthony Aguason, the new pastor and replacement of Father Rey Rosal, gave his invocation.
To begin the ceremony, Mayor Edwin Aldan (Municipality of Tinian and Aguiguan) said his welcoming remarks. “First off, I’m honored to be speaking to you on such a special occasion. We’re here today to honor our service members and to remember the sacrifices that they have made, along with the courage that it takes to uphold honor, duty, and country, the three principles of which our armed forces take pride in defending. The service members we honor today come from all walks of life, but they all share several fundamental qualities. They are all heroes, who because of their achievements, courage, and dedication to our country, we stand strong and proud. We thank them for their sacrifices, not just today, but every day that we wake up, free to go about doing the things that we enjoy. We salute all the veterans who join us in this group today, as well as those who are only here in spirit. We stand in the midst of patriots as well as the family and friends of those that have nobly served.” Mayor Aldan asked for all the veterans that are present at the event to stand, followed by a round of applause. Proceeding was a moment of silence for all the fallen heroes didn’t make it home because they made the ultimate sacrifices so that we could continue living the way that we do. The mayor also asked the families of veterans to stand up and be recognized.
In recognition of veterans and families, poems that were dedicated to veterans were recited by C/SFC Tyler Santos and his father Joseph Santos. The Honorable Francisco Borja (21st Tinian and Aguiguan Legislative Delegation) said his opening remarks. A special keynote speaker, Lt. Col. Richard Barcinas Jr. (U.S. Army) was present at the ceremony to say many heartfelt and inspiring words.
After beginning his speech with a story about what his father, Richard Barcinas Sr., went through in the military, he follows-up with, “Our military members continue to volunteer their lives to serve and protect and answer the call from our nation during a time of need, many not knowing where they may be assigned or even if they have to deploy to harm’s way; they jump at the idea of being part of something greater than themselves without seeking glorified medals or attention-grabbing headlines, but rather to serve because they feel that it is their calling.”
The Laying of the Wreaths was done by Mayor Edwin Aldan and First Lady Rosita Aldan, accompanied by LTC Richard Barcinas and his father, as well as Councilman Patrick Manglona. After the 21 Gun Salute (U.S. Armed Forces) and TAPS (JTK Productions), the ceremony came to a close with remarks from the Honorable Patrick Manglona (Secretary, 17th Municipal Council) and Father Anthony’s benediction. The colors were retired and acknowledgements were made by the committee members (Tinian Mayor’s Office).
Veterans, you’ve all made our armed forces the most protected and proud to be in the world. These brave men and women felt a sense of duty and went to defend our great nation. We shouldn’t just be thanking and celebrating them on Veterans Day; we should be doing that everyday. So ask yourself this: have you thanked a veteran today?
Special thanks to the United States Army Reserve, 9th Mission Support Command:
- Lieutenant Colonel Barcinas, Richard Commander
- Captain Duenas, Quintin OIC
- SFC Concepcion, Nadine NCOIC
- SFC Nededog, Brian
- SFC Abbott, Daniel
- SSG Pinaula, Charles
- SSG Lopez Rivera, Raul
- SSG Camacho, Michael
- SGT Robinett, Cody