Asinan Memorial Ceremony held

Survivors and descendants of the Asinan concentration camp attend the memorial ceremony held Monday morning. (PNC video capture)

Another ceremony was held today to honor the memory of those who suffered at another concentration camp during World War II, this time at Camp Asinan.

As Liberation Day approaches, a virtual ceremony was held to honor those who suffered and died at the Asinan concentration camp.

While imprisoned at the camp in Yona people suffered cruelties imposed upon them by Japanese soldiers during their occupation of the island.

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At the ceremony, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero gave her remarks, both in English and in CHamoru, saying that she can never imagine what they went through and how the survivors are still haunted by what they faced at the camp.

However, Leon Guerrero says that the progress the island has made in the past decades since makes her and island residents proud of how far they’ve come.

“That is the strength and the value inside of us and makes us continue the good life that we have here. I can imagine how these people felt when they saw the first soldiers who came in to rescue them … they were the happiest people. Why? Because their fears for their lives have just been removed and that’s why, Admiral (Benjamin) Nicholson, I want you to know that our island is a grateful island. That’s why we are a patriotic island because we have experienced the atrocities of war and even more, we have experienced the liberation,” Leon Guerrero said.

The Governor also said that residents have continued to display that same spirit in the island’s current fight against the COVID-19 virus.

“Because we are a dedicated, committed group of people in our community, all of you have fought this war. We are winning and we will win again. Why? Because that’s the kind of people we are. We are strong, committed, passionate, generous, and we are CHamoru. So I would just like to say thank you for everything that you have done and all the perils we have experienced is an experience we will live to tell about,” the governor said.

One of the survivors spoke about what she experienced during the war and the family members she lost, saying no amount of money can pay for all those who passed during the war. But she is grateful for the military and its continued dedication to service.

The Governor also acknowledged the U.S. military for their service in liberating the people of Guam during the war.