Guam recently celebrated the 79th anniversary of Guam’s liberation during World War II, which is a day of importance to the entire island.
The festivities began on July 21, lifting the spirits of the people of the territory, especially after the destruction of Typhoon Mawar. While the festivities were limited due to the aftermath of the typhoon, there was still fun to be had.
The Liberation Day Mass started off the festivities by putting everyone in hopeful spirits, while the Liberation Memorial Ceremony paid tribute to those who have suffered, reminding the audience of Guam’s perseverance in difficult times. Later in the day, there was a Liberation Block Party and Tribute to Front Liners, which celebrated and acknowledged the front liners who made the journey to recovery possible. At the end of the night, everyone was entertained by a firework display and light show. The event brought the night to a close and followed this year’s theme of “A Journey Towards Peace.”
While it wasn’t possible for all of the annual celebrations to take place due to the destruction from the typhoon, there was one unifying event for the entire island. This event was the Liberation Memorial Ceremony, which honored residents who were tortured or executed by displaying makeshift latte stones at different sites of concentration camps or massacres. Colorful wreaths were bestowed and laid by an Honor Guard and accompanied by war survivors and their families, village mayors, and the 79th Guam Liberation Royal Court. The ceremony brought up emotions for many; however, it was spirit-lifting for attendees to honor the thousands who suffered at the hands of the Imperialist Japanese.
This year’s theme of “A Journey Towards Peace,” leaves those who attended the festivities with a renewed spirit, something that was needed after the tragedy of Typhoon Mawar.