Congressman Faleomavaega announced today that during this year’s July 4th long weekend, he will be visiting the soldiers and their families stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington and attend the Samoan Cultural Day celebration hosted by the Asia Pacific Cultural Center and the many Samoan churches in the Seattle – Tacoma, Washington area.
On Friday, July 1, Congressman Faleomavaega will meet with Samoan soldiers and their family members at Joint Base Lewis-McChord to discuss issues of concern. Included in the meeting will be Samoan veterans and retirees and family members residing in the Seattle-Tacoma area.
By invitation of Mrs. Fa’aluaina Pritchard, Executive Director of Asia Pacific Cultural Center, and members of the Samoa Cultural Day organizing committee, Faleomavaega will then partake in events leading up to Samoa Cultural Day including a Community Prayer Service at Glover Park High School and dinner with community ministers and leaders.
The July 2nd Samoa Cultural Day will begin with a morning parade at Clover Park Stadium in the city of Lakewood, Washington. Joining the event with Faleomavaega as his special guests will be Colonel Leafaina Tavai-Yahn, recently installed Commander of the 404th Army Field Support Brigade headquartered at Fort Lewis, CSM Tuileama Nua, Command Sergeant Major for Western Regional Medical Command, and 1SG Tausala Faamausili who is Vice President of Toa O Samoa organization.
An official opening ceremony and rising of the flags will follow the parade. The event will then feature cultural games, dance and song competitions. Included also in the festivities will be Pacific Islander arts and crafts and educational booths for the enjoyment of visitors.
As Keynote Speaker during the Samoa Cultural Day, the Congressman will be joined by other dignitaries including Mayor Doug Richardson of Lakewood, Deputy Mayor Lauren Walker of Tacoma, State Representative Sharon Tomiko Santos of Washington, Commissioner Sefa Aina of the White House Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Sponsored by the City of Lakewood and local community groups, the event is expected to draw a crowd of over 2,000 guests from Washington and Oregon.
Following the Samoa Cultural Day, Faleomavaega will attend Sunday Church Service at Ft. Lewis EFKAS, under the leadership of Reverend Suipi Vaielua (Ret. Army) and later a luncheon with community and church leaders. The Congressman will then conclude his weekend with a roundtable chat with Samoan youth from the Seattle-Tacoma area.
“I want to acknowledge and thank Command Sergeant Major Tuileama Nua who besides being the Command Sergeant Major for the Western Regional Medical Command is also President of the Toa o Samoa JBLM, an organization of the Samoans stationed in the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, for organizing the visit and meeting with the soldiers and their families,” Faleomavaega said. “I also want to acknowledge the other officers of the Toa o Samoa JBLM organization including First Sergeant Tausala Faamausili, Vice President, Staff Sergeant Shaun Umi, Treasurer, and Tusapa Taamu, Secretary.
“Also, I want to thank Mrs. Faaluaina “Lua” Pritchard, and the community leaders and ministers of the many Samoan churches in Washington who organized the Samoa Cultural Day for inviting me to speak at their event.”
“I am very pleased to be spending this July 4th weekend with our Samoan soldiers and their families as well as the many retired and former military Samoans who reside in the Washington and Oregon states. I look forward to meeting members of our Samoan community during the Samoa Cultural Day and especially speaking with the youth on Sunday afternoon,” concluded Faleomavaega.