Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

There's a saying in Samoan, ʻo le ala i le pule le tautua--the way to authority is service. Samoans serve their family, their village, and their nation in any way necessary as a means to increase family, and, therefore, individual, influence or authority. Tautua never goes unnoticed, it brings honor and prestige to oneself and one's family. The greatest tautua one can give is the tautua toto, literally blood service--the kind that often ends in death.

Samoans are disproportionately represented in the United States military, serving to maintain the freedoms we enjoy. For instance, more American Samoans have died in Afghanistan and Iraq on a per capita basis than residents from any other state or territory in the union.

So if you know a Samoan serving in the military, thank him or her for his or her tautua toto. And don't forget on this Memorial Day that freedom never was free.

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