Amata at Japanese Surrender Observance

September 8, 2015
Press Release

Pearl Harbor, HI – Congresswoman Aumua Amata, aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor on September 2nd, represented American Samoa as part of a small Congressional Delegation (CoDel) during a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the formal surrender of Japan that ended World War II.

Amata and Navy Seamen
Congresswoman Aumua Amata and U.S. Navy Sailors aboard the USS Missouri for the Ceremony

“I was honored that U.S. Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA) invited me to be a member of this small, bipartisan delegation that he chose to join him for this important occasion,” said Amata.  “It was particularly meaningful for me, because my father was a World War II veteran who served in the Pacific Theater under General Douglas Macarthur,” continued Amata.  Rep. Forbes serves as the Chairman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Sea Power and Projection Forces. The trip was co-led by U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT), the Ranking Member of the subcommittee.

Other members of the CoDel included, Vicky Hartzler (MO) and Paul Cook (CA) who both also serve on the Sea Power and Projection Forces Subcommittee.   Other Armed Services Committee members in attendance were Joe Wilson (SC), Rich Nugent (FL), Paul Cook (CA), Pete Aguilar (CA), and the two Hawaii Representatives, Mark Takai and Tulsi Gabbard.  Representatives Bob Latta (OH), Steve Palazzo (MS), Chris Collins (NY), Scott Garrett (NJ), Randy Hultgren (IL) and Brenda Lawrence (MI) completed the delegation.  Most members were accompanied by their spouses for the solemn occasion which included Hawaii’s two U.S. senators, the Mayor of Honolulu and senior military dignitaries.

“It was a great honor for me to meet many of the 10 participating veterans who were present at the actual surrender that took place in Tokyo Bay in 1945, including one who wore the same uniform he had on that historic day,” said Amata.

The delegation also toured the new Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which has jurisdiction over NOAA activities in the Pacific Islands, including American Samoa.  The Center includes displays about the territory’s marine sanctuary and the story of the 2009 tsunami.  “We saw and were briefed on the center’s weather tracking facilities, which are quite impressive,” stated Amata.

The Congresswoman also visited the Vets Center in Honolulu operated by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and took part in senior level briefings organized by the military’s Pacific Command, which has U.S. defense responsibilities from India to Easter Island, the largest geographical command in the world.  While there, Amata also paid a hospital visit on Leone’s Margaret Ta'avili, a young lady facing serious health issues who will be going to Disney World as a guest of the Make a Wish Foundation, as soon as her condition stabilizes enough for her to be able to make the trip.  “Please keep Margaret and her family in your thoughts and prayers during this critical time,” concluded Amata.

After a quick trip home to finish up business on-island, Amata departed last night for Washington, where Congress will resume business this week, before the fiscal year closes on September 30th.

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