The War in the Pacific
1941: Fateful and Tragic Year

Spirit of Remembrance

Surrender of Guam to the Japanese

Guam's Insular Forces

Pre-War Guam

An Ode to Unsung Heroes

The Defense of Guam
An Ode to the Unsung Heroes
By Fred B. Qunene ... Guam's Poet Laureate

Our peaceful island, this dear land
Was greatly shattered from her calm.
December eight, of forty-one
Japan that date dropped bombs on Guam.

One hundred twenty men was all,
That were recruited for the fight,
The Guards didn't flinch, though hardly trained
The gallant Guards, they did unite.

It is right that we remember
After all these many years.
That for two days they stood ready,
To give Guam their blood, sweat and tears.

All they had were three machine guns
And other guns that were so old,
But our Guam Insular Force Guards
They were so brave, and oh so bold.

From Aporguan they did come,
The Japanese who came to war,
They came in hundred, and much more,
Sometimes after the midnight star.

With hundreds of the enemies,
Who would go thru the Guards roughshod.
Guam's own Guards who are brave of heart,
Stood to fight and shed their blood.

The Guards acted with great valor,
Against great odds they'd stayed to fight,
Though ordinary and untrained,
They'd grown immortal on that night.

The defenders, with their old guns,
Fired at the hundreds, they didn't run,
They didn't stop though death hung heavy,
Until each Guard jammed his gun.

By then Governor McMillin,
Told the Guards they must fall back,
For there was just too many foes,
And good weapons they sorely lack.

So even though that fight was short,
And it ended in surrender,
We all must praise, and show the world,
Our Guard's greatness and their splendor.

For love of country and our land,
Our Guards were willing to shed their blood,
It's time we thank our living heroes,
And those who've gone to our God.

*Fred Quinene is a retired school teacher of 21 years. He is a self-taught writer of many poems since his younger years, and in 1981 was named Guam's first Poet Laureate in recognition of his outstanding achievements.