Another July 24 has arrived, and had she somehow lived to this day, Amelia Mary Earhart, born in Atchison, Kansas on July 24, 1897 to Amy Otis and Edwin Stanton Earhart, would be celebrating her 124th birthday. (Boldface emphasis mine throughout.)
Some certainly have lived this long, and much longer if Old Testament Biblical history is accurate. But if Amelia had escaped the wretched fate the prewar Japanese military on Saipan cooked up for her, her lifespan would likely have been similar to her genetically endowed younger sister, Grace Muriel Earhart Morrissey, affectionately known to Amelia as “Pidge,” who passed away at age 98 in March 1998. Most importantly, Amelia lives on in the hearts of real, freedom-loving Americans, and so we celebrate another First Lady of Flight’s birthday.
This season has been particularly lacking in any Earhart-related news, which is a good thing. All the usual parasites seem to be taking a breather in 2021, and neither the Earhart leeches nor the media care about Amelia’s birthday, much less in the truth. This leaves it with us, or most of it, anyway.
In Atchison, Kansas, where the facts about the horrific fates of the doomed fliers are labeled lunatic fringe “conspiracy theory” when it’s considered at all, the tone-deaf members of the “Amelia Earhart Committee” have again capitulated to the Covid lie that’s turned half the nation into cowering hysterics.
The Atchison Globe announcement on March 10, 2021 that the “AE Committee cancels Amelia Earhart Festival for 2021,” marks the second straight year the benighted citizens of Atchison have caved to the irrational terror created by the ghoul Tony Fauci and his CDC minions over a bug that 99.8 percent of the population survives easily, according to the CDC’s own inflated numbers. “The safety and well-being of volunteers and all who would attend are the highest priority,” according to a news release from chief surrender monkey Jacque Pregont, AE Festival Coordinator. Once again, it’s the short end of the stick for Amelia, who, in this age of Covid-obsessed panic, gets no respect even in her own birthplace.
To review the events and the state of the current zeitgeist for several recent Earhart birthdays, please see “July 24, 2012: Happy Birthday, Amelia; July 23, 2014, “For Amelia Earhart, another unhappy birthday;” “July 24, 2017: Happy Birthday, Amelia;” and my July 24, 2019 post, “For Amelia Earhart, it’s Happy Birthday No. 122!”
Since 2017, the only decent, consistent news about Amelia Earhart has come from Saipan, where my friend Marie Castro, now 88, continues her apparently hopeless campaign to erect an Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument at the site of the great flier’s wretched demise. I’ve written often and passionately about Marie’s selfless devotion to the truth, and we’re blessed that this unique woman has the fortitude to stand up and demand justice in a world where lies, greed and cowardice predominate.
Today, Marie and her small, devoted group, the Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument Inc. (AEMMI), paid their respects to Amelia and Fred Noonan in a modest celebration at the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) Museum. Following a public greeting by Manny F. Borja, Marie began addressing the attendees with the following prepared remarks:
“The Amelia Earhart Memorial Monument”
by Marie Castro, President of the AEMMI Inc.
In 2019, we initiated Amelia’s 122nd birthday celebration for the first time on Saipan in the CNMI.
It has been four years since the inception of this project to build a Memorial Monument to commemorate the two heroes, Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan.
I believe that any unusual, significant event that took place on land, either political or non-political, pleasant, or unpleasant should be recorded in the history of that place. Or do we continue to sit and ignore such a significant event on Saipan in 1937?
Most of our people of Saipan do not know the story, perhaps a few have read stories written about Amelia’s plane that came down in the Pacific and disappeared and was believed to be a mystery. But the disappearance and death of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan is not a mystery, the true evidence is found here on Saipan. Our elders’ accounts of what they witnessed of the two fliers’ presence on Saipan were extremely significant and true accounts. Josephine Blanco Akiyama was the first Chamorro woman who saw Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan at Tanapag Harbor.
In 1960, Fred Goerner, a San Francisco radio newsman, visited Saipan four times and interviewed about 200 Chamorros about the two American fliers. A few of the witnesses interviewed by Goerner and later by others were Manuel Aldan, Jesus Salas, Antonio Cepada, Carlos Palacios, Gregorio Camacho, Jesus Boyer and Francisco Tudela. Except for Manuel Aldan who heard the name “Earnhardt,” all described the American woman as having short hair and wearing a man’s outfit. The closest contacts with Amelia Earhart, who I myself knew and interviewed, were Matilde F. Arriola, her sister Consolacion and Joaquina M. Cabrera who washed Amelia’s clothes. Jose Sadao Tomokane attended the cremation of Amelia Earhart.
We understand the reluctance and hesitations in our community about building a memorial monument to Amelia Earhart on Saipan; we know very well the doubts in peoples’ mind, and we respect everyone’s opinions and beliefs. But the truth can’t be changed to suit people’s whims or political preferences.
Our culture is deeply rooted in religious ceremony caring for family relatives and individual who departed from us giving the final honor he or she deserves.
Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan sadly met their tragic ends on Saipan, and the fliers have never been given any such honor as human beings. Let us be the first to initiate this recognition as a human community to celebrate their end on July 24, 2021 at the CNMI Museum, celebrating the birthday of Amelia Earhart.
Marie S. C. Castro
Following Marie’s birthday address, the local Marianas High School Choral & Canon group performed the classic hymns “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art.” After Rev. Michael D. Linden, S.J.’s invocation, he shared early memories of his father telling him about Amelia Earhart.
Next Marie and Mr. Borja treated the gathering to a dual-recitation of a poem, “To Amelia Earhart: The Woman That You Are,” recently composed by Marie, which they read in both English and Chamorro:
“TO AMELIA EARHART: THE WOMAN THAT YOU ARE”
The woman that you are,
A role model for us
The path for the truth
By the bravery of your heart.
Always trail blazing,
Looking for adventure
Determined to accomplish,
The goal finally conquered.
Navigating your plane
On toward the Atlantic
Following on to the Pacific
A destination you found.
Unclear on the intent
Of your arrival location
Such unfortunate destination
With Fred Noonan, your beloved friend
You were taken by force,
By the Japanese soldiers
To the island of Saipan
Out of your free will
A deserving recognition
Patiently have waited,
Eight decades of uncertainty
An acknowledgement finally accomplished,
Facing a perilous journey
Unknown to your strength
Bravely endured to the end,
For the love of your country.
More music followed, as the Marianas High School Chorale & Canon performed “I’ll be There” and group member Donato Santiago sang “You Raise Me Up.”
Finally, Marianas High School teacher Gina Aquilar led everyone in singing “Happy Birthday” to guest of honor Amelia Earhart, whose life was so tragically cut short on Saipan so long ago, a prewar Japanese atrocity that the U.S. government refuses to acknowledge to this day.
Happy Birthday, Amelia, wherever you are!
Update: On July 26, Saipan’s newspaper Marianas Variety published a story about Marie Castro and the AEMMI’s July 24 event, “Group commemorates Amelia Earhart’s 124th birthday,” by reporters Emmanuel T. Erediano and Bryan Manabat. To read, please click here.
On July 26, Saipan TV did a report on the AEMMI’s July 24 Earhart celebration. To watch, please click here and forward to 16:30.