Guam honors fallen heroes amidst COVID-19

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Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and other dignitaries gather around a wreath honoring Gum's fallen heroes during Monday's Memorial Day commemoration.

Despite the social distance barriers imposed by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Memorial Day was not forgotten today.

The island’s elected and military leaders gathered at the Piti Veterans Cemetery to remember those who gave their lives in service to our nation.

A field of flags covered the grounds at the Piti Veterans cemetery in honor of the fallen who were remembered today.

It was a small ceremony, not open to the public. Masks were worn and social distancing mandates were in effect, but the fallen were remembered.

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Guam Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Johnny Tenorio said: “These gifts of political freedom and liberty are ours because of the valor of these fallen heroes. We stand on their shoulders today, Lord. We realize we have inherited liberty and freedom from them. Oh God, help us be good stewards of our inheritance.”

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero said: “Let us all reflect, every day, and especially today, the blessings we enjoy because of the sacrifices made. We honor you and you continue to make us proud.”

Guest speaker Brigadier Gen. Johnny Lizama, the Assistant Adj. Gen. of the Guam National Guard, spoke about the diversity of the nation and the strength that comes from that and he touched on the current pandemic we are all fighting now.

Maj. Dennis Kirkland, Guam Guard Chaplain, said: “This intimate ceremony is a solemn reminder that there are wars that are being fought abroad. Wars that are being fought on our soils. In today’s current environment we have been humbled with the recent pandemic with restrictions to the most basic of freedoms. At this unprecedented time our local state and federal missions are aligning to protect what is great about America.”

It was a sentiment shared by the governor

“We are right now fighting an invisible enemy which is the coronavirus. And we also have our soldiers and our heroes out there … our frontliners … everyone that’s out there exposed to the coronavirus to help protect and safeguard our community,” the governor said.

She added: “This is very much in parallel with the honor that we’re here to offer to our fallen heroes.”

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