Congressman Faleomavaega today announced that he was pleased to have been invited to speak at the recent Annual Oceanside Samoan Cultural Celebration on July 7, 2012 during which the Oceanside Beach Community Center and the Oceanside Pier Amphitheater were renamed as Junior Seau Beach Community Center and Junior Seau Pier Amphitheater, respectively, to honor a local son of Samoa and Oceanside – Junior Seau.
The renaming of the buildings was approved by a vote of the Oceanside City Council. Both buildings sit next to each other and are located on the beach that the late Junior Seau enjoyed during his youth and after retiring from the National Football League (NFL).
The event was attended by Junior Se’au’s parents – Tiaina Se’au, Sr. and Luisa Mauga Se’au. Other dignitaries who attended the celebration were Oceanside Mayor Jim Wood and members of the Oceanside City Council as well as members of the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors.
“Yes, Junior is no longer with us, but his spirit will continue to be here for generations to come. A simple island boy, who just wanted to make people happy,” Faleomavaega remarked during the event.
Recounting what he learned about Junior’s life from Junior’s brother Savai’i when he shared with everyone at Junior’s funeral service, Faleomavaega told the crowd, “It was Mom Luisa’s teachings and admonition while Junior was growing up here in Oceanside, she told him – ‘Junior, you go out, make happy.’ This is what today is all about – let’s all make happy.”
According to recent media reports, Junior Se’au’s family has agreed to release some of Junior’s brain tissue to the National Institutes of Health for research. Junior Se’au who died from a gunshot wound to the chest at his home in Oceanside, California was ruled a suicide by the San Diego County medical examiner’s office. His death has recalled suicide deaths of other NFL players and renewed the debate on the possible link between concussion brain injuries in a hard-hitting sport like American Football and depression, hence suicidal.
“I want to thank the City of Oceanside for honoring Junior. It is only fitting given Junior’s passion and love for the ocean and as an ambassador for both Oceanside and for all Samoans. I know his legacy will continue to live on because I know he has touched so many lives one way or another. Just as Junior has done throughout all his life, we can only embrace his mother’s simple but yet deep motivation, ‘to be happy,’” Faleomavaega concluded.