LIBERATION Guam Remembers
A Golden Salute for the 50th anniversary of the Liberation of Guam
August 10, 1944
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
Commander in Chief of U.S. Pacific Fleet
Pacific Ocean Areas, and
Military Governor of Guam
In behalf of the people of Guam, we take this opportunity to express
to you and our common nation our heartfelt thanks for the recapture of
Guam by the strong and invincible forces under your command.
The recapture of Guam was opportune. Had it been delayed longer
the native inhabitants would have barely withstood the
ill-treatments and atrocities received from the Japanese. What kept
us up throughout the thirty-two months of Japanese oppression was
our determined reliance upon our mother country's power, sense of
justice, and national brotherhood.
We rejoice the recapture of Guam and are extremely grateful for the
timely relief we are now getting.
In closing we request of you that should you deem it expedient that this
our note of appreciation be transmitted to the Honorable President, and
to the people of the United States of America.
MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR AND LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
On behalf of the people of Guam, it is our privilege to greet you on
this most special occasion for the island of Guam and our people - the
50th anniversary of the Liberation of our island in World War II.
Fifty years ago, Guam and its people were liberated from an enemy's
occupation of the island. From 1941 to 1945,
war had come to Guam, and enemy force was occupying the island, its
soldiers brutalizing and virtually enslaving
our people. That horrible time ended July 21, 1944.
The courage and sacrifice of the members of the U.S. armed forces who
came to these shores on July 21, 1944, have not been in vain. In the 50
years since that first Liberation, the people of Guam have stood tall
with the people of the United States in fighting those around the world
who hinder the way to freedom. Our people, in that July of 1944, learned
a precious lesson - that freedom is worth fighting for, worth any
sacrifice, worth any amount of work.
The last 50 years have seen Guam rebuild from war's devastation, the
island's society mature in democracy, and its people glow in prosperity.
Those blessings have come from God and our people's determination and
enduring nature to overcome adversity. The Liberators of July 21, 1944
gave the people of Guam the torch of freedom, and we have earnestly
taken it. Even now, the fight for Commonwealth status continues on as
Guam's people stand ready to join the Pacific community and the world as
a truly free people.
Before we conclude, we ask you that sometime in this observance of the
50th anniversary of the Liberation to say a prayer for those who cannot
be with us - the men and women of Guam who died in the occupation and
the members of the U.S. armed forces who gave their lives for the sake
of freedom on these shores. The people of Guam are forever blessed by
their ultimate sacrifice.
May God bless the Liberators of Guam, and may God continue to bless the
people of our beautiful island.
JOSEPH F. ADA
FRANK F. BLAS
U.S. PACIFIC FLEET
COMMANDER NAVAL FORCES MARIANAS
FPO AP 96538-0051
The fiftieth commemoration of the Liberation of Guam is a time of pride
for many people. Those of us in uniform feel pride as we reflect on the
heroic accomplishments of our predecessors. The people of Guam feel
pride as they recall courageous stories of the Liberation and share
those stories with their children and grandchildren.
This period during the month of July is a special time every year. On
this occasion in particular, with the great number of veterans returning
to see how time has changed the island that holds so many memories for
them, it is a chance for military and civilians alike to offer a Golden
Salute to these Sailors, Soldiers and Marines, and remind them of the
friends they made here and the comrades they left behind.
I encourage everyone to come out and take part in this special event to
help celebrate and reflect on this important time in our nation's
E. K. KRISTENSEN
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-5301j
CONGRATULATIONS FROM CONGRESSMAN ROBERT A. UNDERWOOD
ON THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE LIBERATION OF GUAM
Hafa Adai todus hamyo! Liberation Day is always a dignified time of
remembrance, deliberation and celebration for the people of Guam. The
courage and strength of our people during the brutal occupation,
followed by the bravery and heroism of Guam's liberators are the
legacies of World War II on Guahan.
It is the supreme sacrifice of our people to the principles of
freedom, and of the U. S. armed forces to Guam which we are called upon
to remember on this day. Our island suffered the only sustained
occupation of U.S. territory during World War II. Thirty-two months of
Japanese domination were ended by the simultaneous landings of the
American liberators on the shores of Agat and Asan, and finally by the
battles of Yigo and Finegayan. This was amongst the longest Pacific
battles of the entire war, leaving thousands dead, both military and
We now gaze upon the invasion beaches, the ocean bottom and into
the hearts and faces of our 'manamko' and the veterans for the stories of
World War II. The cost of freedom is buried there, as it is entombed in the
cliffs of Asan, Red Beach and the caves near Malesso.
Let us recall the past, as together, we forge our way into the
future. And, above all, let us remember as we celebrate our liberation
in 1944 and our march toward freedom.
SI YU'OS MA'ASE,
Robert A. Underwood
Member of Congress
MESSAGES FROM THE CO-CHAIRMEN OF THE GOLDEN SALUTE
On behalf of the members of the Golden Salute Committee, I would like
to extend my personal appreciation and thanks to those Liberators of
Guam who have come to the island for this special 50th anniversary
celebration of the Liberation of Guam. Our island and people are forever
blessed by your demonstration on July 21, 1944, of courage and sacrifice
in the name of freedom.
It was just 31 months before the arrival of Liberation forces that
Guamanians too fought for the sake of freedom. The Insular Force Guard,
despite facing a force of greater numbers that invaded the island,
challenged and then confronted the enemy, but were ordered to stand down
by their commanders. During the occupation, many members of the Insular
Guard Force suffered from the enemy's brutality and even died through
execution because of their association with America through the Guard.
They too are Liberators as all who died and suffered in defying the
enemy on these shores. We honor those who lived in Guam during those
trying times, those who came to the island as part of the Liberation
force, the civilian Scouts, the Guam Combat Patrol - we honor all of
them for their courage and sacrifice in the spirit of Liberation and
their desire to fight for freedom.
In closing, I thank the many members of the Golden Salute Committee -
from the private sector, the Government of Guam, the federal government,
and the military community - for your hard work and dedication to make
this 50 th anniversary of the Liberation a tremendous success. To all of
you, thank you and gof dankulu na si Yu'os ma'ase.
FRANK F. BLAS
Perhaps the most tumultuous period in Guam's history was the decade
of the 1940s when the island was seized by a foreign enemy. Its good
people, the Chamorros, suffered miserably during the 31 months of brutal
occupation and the eventual confrontation between American and enemy
forces in the struggle to liberate the island and people of Guam.
As we commemorate the golden anniversary of the Liberation of Guam,
let us pay tribute to those thousands of Liberators who paid the supreme
sacrifice on the bloody shores and jungles of our island, and to the
hundreds of our own people who perished in this tragic period.
It is my own personal prayer that the blessings of peace, freedom and
goodwill shall prevail forever, and that the causes of war will be
erased from the face of the earth.
It has been my fortune to have been among the Liberators, as a member
of the 25th Seabees, and to have spent most of my life in Guam, my home.
KENNETH T. JONES