Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that he wants to especially thank American Samoa’s warriors for the sacrifices they have made so that you and I and future generations may live in peace.
“American Samoa’s sons and daughters have served in record number in every U.S. military engagement from WWII to present operations in our war against terrorists,” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “Our active duty service members are also serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.”
“This year, American Samoa has lost two young warriors to the war in Iraq. In August, Specialist Farao Kevin Letufuga died in Mosul, Iraq and it was with a heavy heart that I accompanied his body home.”
“On October 27, 2003, Private Jonathan I. Falaniko was killed in Baghdad, Iraq when a vehicle containing an improvised explosive device detonated. Only this morning, I spoke at his funeral which was held at the National Cemetery in Arlington.”
“In remembrance of all those who have served, I would like to share a few of my remarks from this morning’s service. ‘It is customary in our Samoan culture that in times like this speeches are made so that the whole world knows who Jonathan Falaniko is,’” Congressman Faleomavaega said. “’Speeches are made so that the families of both his father and mother are honored. Speeches are made so that for generations to come the name of Jonathan Falaniko will not be forgotten.’”
“’For my limited knowledge of the English language, I am unable to find words adequate enough to give you, Command Sergeant Major Falaniko and your dear wife, Maliana, words to fill such a tremendous loss and void in your lives, especially as parents to Jonathan.’”
“’Jonathan was quite aware of the fact that being in harm’s way, along with thousands of his fellow soldiers, meant there was always a thin line between life and death. On behalf of our Samoan people, to parents and families everywhere, we are indeed honored to know that this man – Jonathan Falaniko – lived and died honorably as a true Samoan warrior.’”
“Indeed, we are honored to know that Farao Kevin Letufuga also lived and died honorably as a true Samoan warrior. Like others before them, like more to come, Jonathan and Kevin gave their lives so that you and I may live in freedom. Let us not forget them. Let us remember that in their veins flows the blood of great warriors and chiefs.”
“Let us also remember that blood of great warriors and chiefs flows through the veins of every man and woman from American Samoa. Let us honor our blood by remembering our veterans and active duty service members. Let us honor their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice to bring about peace and freedom in a troubled world,” the Congressman concluded.