This coming Veteran’s Day, November 11, the US Embassy of Palau and the US Armed Forces Veterans Association of Palau will be hosting a day-long celebration, which will include a Veteran’s Day Parade in Koror and a US Air Force flyover.
The celebration, beginning as a private memorial service at the gravesites of Palauan veterans and ending with a “Veteran’s Day Ball”, will commemorate over 66 years of Palauans serving in the US Armed Forces, says the US Embassy.
The event, which was originally meant to coincide with the arrival of a small delegation from the US, has been shifted to be a more “locally-based” event to honor the Palauan and American veterans already in Palau.
The US Embassy has said that Palau has a better track-record of military service than the rest of the US.
“Citizens of Palau join the US Armed Forces at a higher per capita rate than from any other US state,” said Major Matthew “Gamble” See of the US Embassy. “The commitment and sacrifice of these Veterans should be celebrated.”
The US Armed Forces Veterans Association of Palau, comprised of Palauan citizen and US citizen veterans from all branches of the US Armed Forces, has said that the event will be the first of its kind as an official recognition of Palauan military personnel.
“It’s a big day for us,” said Mr. Gregorio Ngirmang, President of Veterans Association. “Palauans have served in the US military since 1954, but there really hasn’t been any formal big celebration of that.”
This is the second year that the veterans of Palau will celebrate the day as an official organization. The Veterans Association of Palau was formed in April 2019 with the signing of a charter by President Remengesau. Prior to that, Mr. Ngirmang says that Palauan veterans would annually gather for barbecues at the Koror-Babeldaob Bridge to celebrate the day.
“We’re happy to be working with the US Embassy and Ambassador to officially recognize the over 1,000 Palauans who served, especially those who gave their lives,” said Mr. Ngirmang.
According to the US Embassy, a Rockwell B-1 Lancer bomber plane and two F-22 raptor fighter jets are set to fly over downtown Koror at 11:00am on Veteran’s Day, manned by US Air Force personnel who recently completed their quarantine. This will be followed by a Veteran’s Day parade, beginning at Koror State Council of Chiefs Office and ending at Global Village Park, from 11:15am to noon.
The Veteran’s Day Ball is set to be held at Palau Royal Resort at 6pm. The US Embassy has said that it anticipates having a locally-based band perform at the ball.
The proceeds from ticket sales, set at $100 each, will help to support the Veterans Association of Palau’s community activities, says the US Embassy.