Saipan-- CNMI Gov Ralph DLG. Torres on Tuesday proclaimed Sept. 1 as a Commonwealth Day of Prayer in honor of the U.S. military service members who have served and those who continue to serve during Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and to remember the victims of the Aug. 26 terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Torres ordered the U.S. and CNMI flags flown at half-staff within the commonwealth until suns0et today.
The governor noted that over the last 20 years, men and women of the CNMI served in operations within Afghanistan.
"I have met many who have returned from service in Afghanistan. They have enrolled in the Northern Marianas College, entered back into our private sector workforce, and many are currently continuing to serve the public as members of the CNMI government workforce,” Torres said.
“There are those who answered the call to serve our nation that never returned home. In the national conversation, many are asking whether these sacrifices have been worth it. While I cannot speak to the individual struggles of each of our brave service members, I can say that the entire Commonwealth and I are proud of their service to our country and their commitment to the goals and ideals of our great nation," he added.
The governor said he has spoken to many who have served in the recent days on the end of this long war.
"The emotions are mixed and there is no single sentiment that is shared by all. However, as a community we should commemorate these brave service members and acknowledge that their contributions to our nation will never be forgotten," he said.
“With so much still ongoing, and with many of our brothers and sisters still in service, I am calling on our community to join in prayer and commemoration for all our men and women who have served and continue to serve in our nation’s military," the governor added.
Universal prayers begin today and last through the month of September, beginning with a mass intention at the 6 p.m. mass at Mount Carmel Cathedral.
“These past several years have been trying for the Commonwealth, with natural disasters and a global pandemic, and through it our country has been a lifeline for our continued recovery. Our citizenship comes with benefits and responsibilities, and the greatest responsibility of placing our lives on the front line for the ideals of this nation has been shouldered on the brave men and women who have and continue to serve in our nation’s military.”
“I thank them and will continue to pray for them and their families as we look to the end of this long engagement in Afghanistan.”