Dekehtik, Pohnpei: July 27, 2023 – Governor Oliver attended a wreath laying ceremony at the Pohnpei State International Airport arrivals hall. The ceremony was held in honor of fallen service members from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Ten framed photographs of fallen U.S. Armed Forces members from the FSM are posted in the arrivals hall of the Pohnpei International Airport. Also known as the Hall of Heroes, this special area highlights the unique and enduring partnership between the United States of America and the Federated States of Micronesia.
Vice President of the Federated States, Aren B. Palik, delivered remarks sharing close connections with some of the fallen members, highlighting the interconnectedness and intimacy of the close-knit communities in the FSM. U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland delivered moving remarks, speaking of her connection with the military, having a Father who served as a Marine in the Vietnam War. Both Vice President Palik and Secretary Haaland, thanked Governor Oliver for attending the solemn ceremony of remembrance and both highlighted the importance of the enduring USA-FSM partnership.
The Hall of Heroes pays tribute to service members from the FSM who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Four of the ten fallen are from Pohnpei:
US Army Sergeant, Skipper Soram, died September 22, 2004, Operation Iraqi Freedom.
US Army Specialist, Derence J. Weilbacher Jack, died October 31, 2005, Operation Iraqi Freedom.
US Army Specialist, Henry Paul, died September 26, 2006, Operation Iraqi Freedom.
US Army Sergeant Youvert Loney, died September 5, 2009, Operation Enduring Freedom.