The administration is asking Congressman Michael San Nicolas to help expedite the release of a grant worth $5 million that is included in the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act.
The provision in the law establishes a grant program to memorialize the occupation of Guam by Imperial Japanese Forces during World War II.
Specifically, Sec. 1706 requires the Department of the Interior to award grants for research, educational, and media activities that memorialize the occupation and honor the loyalty of the people of Guam during the occupation.
In addition, Section 1707 authorizes appropriations in the amount of $5 million annually to carry out this program.
“With Congress currently deliberating the Fiscal Year 2020 Interior and Environment Appropriations bill, I appreciate your assistance in ensuring that funds for the Guam World War II Grants Program are included in the final version of the bill to ensure the story of Guam’s occupation and liberation can continue to be shared well beyond this year’s 75th Anniversary,” Acting Governor Joshua Tenorio wrote in a letter to San Nicolas.
He added: “As we commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Guam and continue to advocate for war claims compensation for our remaining World War II survivors, I hope that Congress supports our efforts to remind all of the history and experiences and sacrifices of our people to the Nation. I look forward to working with you on this matter.”
In an interview with Patti Arroyo on NewsTalk K57, Tenorio said the grant is needed to memorialize the World War II story for the people.
“The Department of Interior is supposed to set this up. And we’re hopeful that our delegate to Congress can nudge them so we can preserve oral histories while a small number of our war survivors are still alive.,” Tenorio said.
Senator Amanda Shelton also sent a letter to the Department of Interior about the $5 million grant.
According to the senator, the Department of Interior noted that while the $5 million authorization is in law, there is no appropriation.
In a letter from DOI to Shelton, DOI stated that technical assistance grants are available to start the project of recording and memorializing war survivor stories.
Shelton said she is continuing to work with DOI to get the technical assistance grants as soon as possible.