America tries to paint a perfect picture of loyalty and allegiance — in which they defend their own no matter the circumstances. They pride themselves in their military, assuring all U.S. citizens that we are protected in the toughest of times.

It’s important to keep in mind that some of the most important U.S. military bases are located in satellite locations on the Northern Mariana Islands.

Regrettably, this country, deemed to be the strongest and most resilient in the world, failed thousands of their own people when those individuals needed them most.

This Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018 photo taken by Amber Lee Alberts shows destruction on the island of Saipan, her home, after Super Typhoon Yutu swept through the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands earlier in the week. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, the commonwealth's delegate to U.S. Congress, said the territory will need significant help to recover from the storm, which he said injured several people. (Amber Lee Alberts via AP)
Destruction on the island of Saipan after Super Typhoon Yutu swept through the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. AP

On Wednesday, the Northern Marianas experienced the most powerful storm to hit the United States since 1935. Typhoon Yutu demolished Tinian and Saipan, also known as the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, with 180-mph winds and tropical cyclones that tore through these small islands affecting about 51,000 people.

The residents of Saipan woke up Thursday morning to see their homes shattered and their lives changed forever. Buildings were demolished and about a hundred power poles were scattered throughout the streets. This is inherently going to leave the island with no electricity or water for God knows how long.

A Nightmare

There was no way to escape this nightmare; there never is. When islanders are about to experience natural disasters, they don’t have the option to get in their cars and drive as far as possible. Rather, they must secure their homes, buckle down, and pray that they can stay safe through the horrific ordeal that is approaching.

The Northern Mariana Islands became an American territory subsequent to World War II. That being said, what has the United States done to try and indemnify the horror that these U.S. residents just encountered? The answer to that is simple: Nothing.

Since Wednesday, Donald Trump has not publicly commented on the typhoon nor has he assured the territory that the U.S. is doing all it can to assist in the matter. No one is talking about Typhoon Yutu and the impacts it placed on these people’s lives.

What has the United States done to try and indemnify the horror that these U.S. residents just encountered?

According to the Weather Channel, there has already been one death reported in Saipan and we have yet to uncover how many more may arise. While struggling to get out of harm’s way, one person found a building to protect her from the strong winds. Little did she know that not even a building could save her, and she smashed as the building collapsed directly above her.

The emotional and physical harm the people of the Marianas encountered is horrific and devastating, and yet, no one is talking about it.

A couple of news sites have published articles on the strong typhoon that just hit U.S. territories, such as The Washington Post, The Weather Channel and The New York Times, but that isn’t enough. Michael Lowry told the Huffington Post that this typhoon was “one of the most intense tropical cyclones we’ve observed worldwide in the modern record.”

It’s mind-boggling to think that most people fail to recognize that these territories exist, and the fact that the United States fails to recognize them even in their darkest hour is appalling.

Help Needed

The people of the Northern Marianas need food, water, a place to lay their heads at night, and most of all, emotional support. According to Guam residents, the people of Guam are doing what they can to donate various necessities to Saipan and Tinian, but they can’t do it alone.

The United States needs to take care of its own. Although this is just a territory that no one talks about, Saipan’s 48,000 and Tinian’s 3,000 people reside on United States soil and they deserve to be treated like Americans.

We live in a country that takes pride in protecting our own, and it’s time we hold that value to its highest standard.

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