Pohnpei Liberation Day
Observed as an official holiday in Pohnpei, Micronesia, Pohnpei Liberation Day commemorates the liberation of the Micronesian state from the occupation of the Japanese on September 11, 1945. The Japanese had occupied the islands from World War I through WWII, making it an important day for the people of this island country.
This day is a public holiday, so people have the day off, and most schools and businesses are closed. It is also a day that features a wide variety of activities. These include flag-raising ceremonies, concerts, political speeches, sporting events, and other activities.
The History of Pohnpei Liberation Day
During World War I, the Japanese invaded and permanently occupied the Caroline Islands. When Germany was defeated during that war, the League of Nations granted Japan a mandate over the islands. The island would remain in Japan’s possession over the next couple of decades. During WWII, they built a fortified base at Truk Lagoon (modern-day Chuuk) and used it as their base of operations in the South Pacific Theater.
On September 2, 1945, Imperial Japan surrendered, but not all of the islands were immediately liberated. The Micronesian states of Kosrae and Chuuk were liberated on September 8 and September 23, respectively. Pohnpei was liberated on September 11, 1945, and it is this date that the holiday commemorates each year.
Observing Pohnpei Liberation Day
This holiday is widely observed in Pohnpei with a number of different events. There are parades, flag-raising ceremonies, and fireworks. There are also sports competitions in all the municipalities of the state.
Some of the sporting events that can be observed include boxing, baseball, softball, volleyball, wrestling, swimming, table tennis, soccer, and lawn tennis. It is also a day for people to gather and enjoy meals with loved ones.