Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that yesterday he attended the official swearing in ceremony for the 44th President of the United States, Barack H. Obama. He also attended the Hawaii State Society Ball where he met with Senator Daniel Inouye, Congressman Neil Abercrombie, and Mayor Mufi Hanneman.
“Last evening, after the swearing-in and the inaugural parade, I had the opportunity to attend the Hawaii State Society Ball where I met with Senator Inouye, Congressman Abercrombie, and Mufi Hanneman, our first Samoan-elected Mayor of Honolulu,” Faleomavaega said. “After consultations with Senator Inouye last night, I will be meeting with him sometime next week to discuss our Territory’s needs.”
“I am certain during our meeting we will have an opportunity to discuss minimum wage and other important issues facing American Samoa, and I am very much looking forward to working with Senator Inouye on projects that will benefit our people.”
“I also met with Mayor Hanneman at the ball and he is doing a fine job representing the city of Honolulu. I am proud of Mayor Hanneman and the work he is doing. I also appreciate Congressman Abercrombie who has been a steadfast friend and supporter of American Samoa.”
“Prior to the Hawaii State Society Ball, I attended the swearing-in ceremony for our nation’s 44th President. Yesterday’s inauguration of America’s first African-American President was so historic that I wanted our entire Territory to join me on the Capitol steps and witness history in the making. Logistically, that was impossible,” Faleomavaega said, “but I tried to take Samoa with me by wearing a hat in tribute to our people, who have sacrificed throughout generations of time to make America the great nation that it is today.”
“January 20, 2009 was made possible thanks to the sacrifices of every person of color who has prayed and worked for the day when America would be all it was intended to be – a land of liberty, justice, and equality for all. Given the historical significance of yesterday’s inauguration for your children and mine, I was deeply honored to represent the people of American Samoa at this pivotal point in our nation’s history, and I thank our people for the opportunity to serve them.”
“With so much promise before us, I am hopeful that 2009 will bring blessings for American Samoa. I am also hopeful that America will remain steadfast despite the serious challenges our nation faces. In his inaugural speech, President Obama set the tone for our course of direction. He said:
Our challenges may be new. The instruments with which we meet them may be new. But those values upon which our success depends — hard work and honesty, courage and fair play, tolerance and curiosity, loyalty and patriotism — these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. What is demanded then is a return to these truths. What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility — a recognition, on the part of every American, that we have duties to ourselves, our nation, and the world, duties that we do not grudgingly accept but rather seize gladly, firm in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character, than giving our all to a difficult task.
This is the price and the promise of citizenship.
This is the source of our confidence — the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny.”
“I agree with President Obama’s call to remake America and to usher in a new era of peace. This is why I look forward to working closely with the people of American Samoa as we continue our journey of making America a land of promise that is, as President Obama said, ‘ready to lead once more,’” Faleomavaega concluded.
Photo 1-Front: Senator Daniel Inouye and his wife, Mrs. Irene Hirano Inouye, Congressman Faleomavaega. Back: Mayor Mufi Hannemann during the Hawaii State Society Inaugural Ball.
Photo 2: Congressman Faleomavaega with other House Members and Senators on stage moments before President Barack Obama took the oath of office as the 44th President of the United States of America.