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General serves as Misawa City's 'Mayor for a Day'

  • Published
  • By Capt. Teresa Sullivan
  • 35th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
The 35th Fighter Wing commander was appointed as Misawa City's "Mayor for a Day" Jan. 12 as a way to promote cultural awareness and increase goodwill.

Misawa City Mayor Shigeyoshi Suzuki offered the opportunity to Brig. Gen. Sam Angelella, 35th FW commander, and thanked the general for a job well-done during his command.

The day began with the general and his wife, Marci, being driven to Misawa City Hall in the mayor's private vehicle. Greeted by a crowd of civic leaders, city officials and media, they hit the ground running.

First on the agenda was a short induction ceremony where Mayor Suzuki presented the general an official letter of appointment. Shortly after taking his seat as mayor for the day, General Angelella reviewed and approved the city's hospital relocation plan.

The general's quick decision-making left the mayor thinking the general could give him a run for his money as mayor.

"I think you may do so well today, you could try to run against me," Mayor Suzuki joked.

Next on the day's order of events was a tour of the facility for General and Mrs. Angelella. Some of the divisions they visited included education, agriculture, tourism, commerce, industry, construction and planning. The general also stopped by the assembly hall, where Mayor Suzuki holds quarterly meetings.

The mayor for a day and his wife were called to hold a conference attended by senior staff members.

"This is a very important room where many important decisions are made," said Mayor Suzuki as he opened discussions. The topic of the conference was the effective management of the American Village, a multi-million dollar project meant to cater to both American and Japanese people looking for food, entertainment and shopping.

During the conference Mayor Suzuki bestowed the honor of "official goodwill ambassador" to Mrs. Angelella, a first for any 35th FW commander's spouse.

"I'm so honored," said Mrs. Angelella. "We have many fond memories here at Misawa and this one definitely tops the list for me."

Mayor Suzuki presented her with personalized business cards, a plaque and other mementos as a token of his appreciation for her contributions and her role in the building of positive relations between the base and city.

"The relationship between Misawa City and Misawa Air Base is phenomenal -- the best of the best. Marci and I feel like Misawa is our home and we will always feel that way," said the general.

To conclude the day, Mayor Suzuki expressed his gratitude for the general's leadership of the base and for helping to make the base and city relationship stronger than ever.

"We hope to see you again when you come back with two, three or four stars," said Mayor Suzuki. "We will truly miss you and Marci, and we thank you for your support and friendship."

General Angelella, who served as the wing commander since August 2005, now moves to Camp Smith, Hawaii, to become deputy director of strategic planning and policy at Headquarters Pacific Command.

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