BIKINI DAY
MARCH 4, 2002
KILI ISLAND
"REMEMBERING OUR HISTORY"

Each year Bikini Day is celebrated by the people of Bikini Atoll to commemorate their movement from their homeland in March of 1946, and also the detonation hydrogen bomb, Bravo, that irradiated their atoll in March of 1954. Bikini Day actually lasts for a week, as islanders from all over the Marshall Islands come by plane and ship to take part in the activities that include a day of speeches, then a week-long series of athletic events for men and women including softball, basketball, volleyball, and traditional races and contests. What follows is a short report of the 2002 festivities that occurred on Kili Island on Monday, March 4, the opening for Bikini Day.

Bikini Day 2002, the Bikinians' 56th year of exile, was special because it marked the first visit to Kili for a Bikini Day by Kessai Note after becoming President of the Marshall Islands. A large number of Marshall Islands Nitijela [the governing body of the Marshall Islands] members were also in attendance. They included Bikini Senator Tomaki Juda, Minister of Outer Island Affairs Nidel Lorak, Ailuk Atoll Senator Maynard Alfred, Kwajalein Senator Sato Maie, Jaluit Atoll Senators Minister Alvin Jacklick and Minister Rien Morris, Minister John Silk, Minister Gerald Zackious, and Minister Brenson Wase. Iroij Telnan Lanki also attended.

The following program that began at 10:00 a.m. and continued until 5:00 p.m. when the plane returned the guests to Majuro Atoll:

 

  • FLAG RAISING: KILI/EJIT LOCAL POLICE FORCE
  • INVOCATION: REVEREND MARSHALL LANGRIK
  • WELCOME: THE HONORABLE SENATOR TOMAKI JUDA
  • REMARKS: IROIJ TELNAN LANKI
  • REMARKS: SENATOR MAYNARD ALFRED
  • REMARKS: MR. MATASHICHI OISHI, LUCKY DRAGON SURVIVOR (a presentation from the Japanese delegation is made to the Mayor of Bikini, Eldon Note, (photo at right)
  • REMARKS: MR. HIROSHI MIWA, NAGASAKI BOMBING SURVIVOR
  • REMARKS: MINISTER OF OUTER ISAND AFFAIRS, NIDEL LORAK
  • REMARKS: HON. MIKE SENKO, THE U.S. AMBASSADOR TO THE RMI
  • SONG: EBON ATOLL GROUP
  • INTRODUCTION OF THE GUEST SPEAKER: BIKINI COUNCILMAN SIMON JAMORE
  • KEYNOTE ADDRESS: HON. PRESIDENT KESSAI NOTE
  • REMARKS: MINISTER RIEN MORRIS
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: HON. MAYOR ELDON NOTE
  • BENEDICTION: REVEREND CALVIN BUNGLIK

 



SPEAKERS:

 
This Bikini Day was marked by speeches by President Kessai Note (right), and U.S. Ambassador Mike Senko (left).

 

 

 


 

Mr. Hiroshi Miwa, a Nagasaki bomb survivor (left), and Mr. Matashichi Oishi, who was a Lucky Dragon sailor when the Bravo shot was detonated in 1954 (right), came all the way from Japan to speak to the people of Bikini on Kili Island about their experiences.

 

 

The gathering included many distinguished visitors from the RMI and U.S. governments. Pictured at right, U.S. Ambassador Mike Senko and his wife Dita, and Iroij Telnan Lanki.

 



 

Dances performed by Bikinian children and a great feast were the highlights of the opening day ceremonies.



The entire community of Bikinians on Kili Island gathered to listen to the speakers

 



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