FSM celebrates its 30th birthday

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By Bill Jaynes
The Kaselehlie Press
November 3, 2016
Pohnpei, FSM—The FSM hosted a huge 30th birthday party for the Federated States of Micronesia today beginning with an afternoon parade from the Pohnpei government building to Spanish Wall. The parade was led by a host of extremely loud motorcycles, some belonging to Pohnpei State Police and others personally owned.
Sharp National State and Municipal Police officers marched as well.
Decorated vans with photos of President Nakayama and other FSM founding fathers also participated though it was difficult to see who was in most of them for the closed tinted windows.
Colorful traditionally decorated floats represented each of the FSM States and the College of Micronesia FSM. A prize for the best float was awarded. Unfortunately at press time over a week later, no organizers had responded to our requests for a list of those winners or any others.

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The parade ended at the Spanish Wall where the official ceremony was held. In between speeches, traditional dances from each of the States were performed by students of the College of Micronesia FSM. Founding Father Bethwel Henry spoke on the beginnings of the nation which began with the adoption of the FSM Constitution.
FSM Congress Speaker Wesley Simina spoke on the importance of knowing FSM’s history and unique place in the world with pride.
President Peter Christian spoke eloquently, as he usually does, on the importance of unity in the FSM and challenged members of the State and National Leadership Council who were present to constantly keep the goal of unity in mind.
All of the dance performances were spectacular but whoever positioned the Yap dancers to perform after President Christian’s speech on unity did so with a stroke of brilliance. The Yap dancers needed eight people for their performance but one of their members could not attend due to a death in the family. Rico Rico, an outgoing Pohnpeian student at COM volunteered to step in. It was obvious that he didn’t know all of the dances, the steps, or the chants and the audience roared in laughter and approval. That group of dancers demonstrated in physical form the power of unity and working together.