The War in the Pacific
Meaning and Purpose


Public Law 103-197

Memorial Wall

Deaths (Guam)

Injuries (Guam)

Casualties (U.S.)

World War II Memorial to the People of Guam


... the Memorial Wall will honor not only the valor of the soldier, sailor, airman and especially the Marine, but the sacrifice and dignity of our island elders—i manaina-ta—whose own story, courage and contributions have at times not been given the recognition they deserve.

This park, this wall, stands as a great testimony to the courage, heroism and sacrifice of two groups of people who came together in the name of freedom some 50 years ago—one was in uniform and the other was in rags; one used weapons of war and the other used tools for survival; one came in from the sea and the other came down from the hills; one left their families behind and the other tried to keep their families with them; and one liberated the island from without while the other liberated the island from within.

In their meeting, the great historical drama that Guam alone could play came to pass, as U.S. soil was liberated from enemy hands. The very first U.S. soil to be occupied since the War of 1812.

The battle—hardened American servicemen came to Guam concerned about meeting a determined enemy; but these men soon came to understand the special nature of this battle among all those in the Pacific, indeed among all of the battles of World War II. This was a re-occupation, this was a retaking what was once lost, what was once American. And as they saw our people come down from the hills, they broke down, and they openly wept as they saw Guam's children display hand-made American flags, imperfect in their design, yet perfectly clear in their representation.

Excerpt from Delegate Underwood's Speech
National Park Memorial Wall Dedication, July 19, 1994, Guam