Governor Ralph DLG. Torres on Tuesday proclaimed Wednesday, September 1, 2021 as a Commonwealth Day of Prayer as a mark of solemn respect for U.S. military service members who have served and those who continue to serve during the U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and to remember the victims of the August 26, 2021 terrorist attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.
“Over the last 20 years, men and women of the CNMI answered the call of our country to serve 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,” said Governor Torres.
“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.”
“I have 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.”
“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.”
Governor Torres noted that with the gracious support of Bishop Ryan Jimenez and the Commonwealth Bureau of Military Affairs, universal prayers are scheduled to begin on September 1, 2021 and last through the month of September, beginning with a mass intention at the 6:00 p.m. mass at Mount Carmel Cathedral on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.
“I invite the community to join in the commemoration of our service members during this time.”
“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.”
The public is invited to participate in tomorrow’s 6:00 p.m. mass at Mount Carmel Cathedral and is encouraged to observe the Commonwealth Day of Prayer with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities in their houses of worship and communities.
In addition to his proclamation of the Commonwealth Day of Prayer, Governor Torres ordered the flags of the CNMI, together with the flag of the United States of America, be flown at half-staff within the Commonwealth until sunset, September 1, 2021.