244th U.S. Independence Day Observed with a Series of Activities

Photo: Winners of the Fourth of July Virtual Essay Contest pictured with Ambassador Cantor Erlickson Jano, 1st Place, Isabella Sipos, 2nd Place and Sophia Bacalando, 3rd Place (not pictured).

The U.S. Embassy Kolonia marked the 244th Independence Day of the United State of America with a series of events using the theme of “Environmental Protection of the FSM”. To highlight World Oceans Day, June 5, the Embassy coordinated a cleanup at Lenger Island with local partners: Conservation Society of Pohnpei, FSM Ridge to Reef, Pohnpei Office of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Green Society, Micronesia Conservation Trust and Pohnpei Surf Club.

Photo: Ambassador Cantor enjoying the photo booth with Secretary Elieisar, FSM Department of Foreign Affairs, and wife Matrina Elieisar at the Fourth of July social event.

The week of the Fourth of July began with the illumination of the Embassy compound with LED red, white, and blue lights and decorations. On Monday June 29th Ambassador Cantor led the Embassy team on a cleanup of the Pohnpei Causeway. During the event, Ambassador Cantor presented certificates to winners of the Fourth of July youth virtual essay competition where teens discussed the theme of environmental conservation. The winners of the contest were Erlickson Jano, Isabella Sipos, and Sophia Bacalando. The winning essays are located at https://bit.ly/3fdZz0y.

On July 1st, Ambassador Cantor and members of the U.S. Embassy team visited local grocery stores to distribute reusable eco-friendly shopping bags to coincide with the implementation of the law that bans single use styrofoam and plastic (FSM Public Law 21-76).

To close out the festivities, Ambassador Cantor hosted several small social events with members of the FSM and State government, non-governmental organizations, diplomatic corps, and members of the community.

Photo: Ambassador Cantor hands over a recyclable shopping bag to a local customer at Yoshie Enterprises

“Unfortunately, this year American Independence Day cannot be marked with the large celebrations as in years past.  Due to the current global pandemic of COVID-19, and in support of social distancing efforts, my staff and I had to be creative to develop a series of small but meaningful events to commemorate the 244th anniversary of our independence.” said Ambassador Cantor during her official remarks.

Ambassador Cantor observed that the Fourth of July is “a time when all Americans – at home and abroad – reflect on the history, values and the importance of democracy that has inspired our country since its founding and sustained it for 244 years. They are values we share with our friends and partners here in the FSM.”

The Honorable Secretary Kandhi Elieisar, FSM Department of Foreign spoke of the U.S.’s long history with the FSM and global contributions towards the advancement of humanity celebrated all over the world.