Flags were lowered to half mast and a month of national mourning was declared on October 10 to honor former Marshall Islands President and Majuro paramount chief Jurelang Zedkaia.
Zedkaia, 65, died in Majuro October 7 of an apparent heart attack. He was elected President of the Marshall Islands in 2009, following a vote of no confidence that ousted President Litokwa Tomeing, also a traditional chief.
A state funeral for Zedkaia took place Thursday afternoon October 15. Following the government’s funeral service, Zedkaia’s remains were transported to the Assembly of God Church in Delap for ongoing funeral services. On Tuesday, he will be moved to the AOG Church in Laura, then buried Wednesday at a cemetery in Laura in Rear Weto reserved for traditional leaders.
A 24-year veteran of parliament, Zedkaia was not identified with a particular political party and was seen as a potential ally by all factions in the national parliament. He served as speaker for two years prior to becoming president.
Read more about this in the October 16, 2015 edition of the Marshall Islands Journal.