To mark the 23rd Independence Day of Palau, a weekend long celebration continued with the annual boat race yesterday and a 45-minute display of spectacular fireworks on Sunday night.

Hundreds people packed the capitol for the fireworks and some cultural show as early as Sunday afternoon. [Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. in his remarks during the Oct. 1 celebration thanked several nations in their continued partnership with Palau in achieving its development as a sovereign nation.

The Palauan Way is a system of sharing and respect. So today, in recognition of the fact that our independence is only as strong as the support that we give to it, and the partnership that we gain as we grow and prosper, we would like to take a brief moment to express our appreciation and thanks to Palau’s friends, who have so generously supported our efforts and contributed to Palau’s political and economic development,” Remengesau said.

He also stressed the need of the people of Palau to unite and speak with one voice ensuring that no Palauan will be left behind.

“My friends, my fellow Palauans, our nation may be young in the eyes of the world but it is built upon the footings of a strong and vibrant culture and a community that cannot and will not be forgotten. We have always worked together and our Palauan national family will continue to speak in one voice moving forward. And so in this the Year of the Family, we can be assured of one thing: our nation’s future looks brither than ever- together,” he said.

Remengesau said Palau has come a long way since its independence with several achievements to boot from its national marine sanctuary, tourism development, fiber optic and an aim to be energy independent through clean energy initiatives.

He however said these achievements were possible with friends of Palau assisting is sustainable development such as Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand, European Union, private organizations and nongovernmental organizations.

Remengesau also gave special mention to its longtime ally the United States and reaffirmed its commitment to stand America in its condemnation of North Korea’s threat to Guam and the Pacific Region.

“We thank the United States of America for its constant protection of our country, our region and of the world and stand beside her in her efforts to limit provocative actions by North Korea on our neighbor Guam and the entire Pacific Region,” Remengesau stated. The president also continued to stress that the foundation of Palau’s development is to remain a caring government that is responsive to the needs of its people. [/restrict]