July 21st is Liberation Day in Guam. This is the celebration of the day the U.S. forces landed in 1944 to re-take the island from Japan which had occupied it since December 1941 when it made an almost simultaneous surprise attack here with its bombing of Pearl Harbor. It is likely the most celebrated day of the year in Guam. Families set up canopies along "Marine Corps Drive" where they bbq, visit and generally celebrate as they watch the parade and festivities which last somewhere between four and six hours. It was impressive and moving to see the gratitude still shown for their liberators.
Governor and Mrs. Calvo, she we had met at a presentation and luncheon several months ago and he at the ribbon cutting for the Family History/Self-Reliance Center at the Stake Center last Saturday. They stopped and shook hands - of course probably would have anyway, being politicians and all!
And U. S. Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo
Marine Marching Band from Okinawa, carabao and Chamorro owner
Jeanette getting a free banana tree planting
Chamorro children taking tribute to the dignitaries on the reviewing stand
Philippino cultural dances
Honor and gratitude to the still-living vets that were actually on the beaches in 1944;
this one was also a Navajo Code Talker
Carabao are all the rage . . .
More families hanging out
The Parade was followed by the youth participating in the worldwide indexing challenge at the newly remodeled Barrigada Guam Stake Family History/Self-Reliance Center:
GORGEOUS SUNSET OVER THE PHILIPPINE SEA
Old Spanish Fort overlooking Village of Umatec
Village of Umatec at sunset
And the week ended working with Patriarch Gittens on his Guyana family history.