Guam – The Ginen I Hila I Magataotao Siha association is holding a special commemoration ceremony Friday called “The Stir of Echoes.” It’s purpose is to honor the brave men in the Guam Insular Guard who defended the island when it was invaded by the Japanese in 1941.
It’s a little known battle that has been omitted from most record books. On December 8th the Japanese began bombing Guam but on December tenth their forces actually landed on the island and stormed the capital in Hagatna. A little over a 100 Guam insular guardsmen made up of Chamorro’s who weren’t yet U.S. citizens and who weren’t even considered full fledged members of the U.S. military fought against roughly 700 Japanese soldiers in the Plaza De Espana. There has never been any ceremony commemorating the men who valiantly fought this battle until now. Tomorrow’s ceremony begins at 4am tomorrow at the insular guard monument in the Plaza De Espana.
“Four am was when the battle occurred, records show that they landed at four am and made their way to Hagatna so it was about four or five am and the battle lasted 45 minutes,” said Felix Benavente.
Selina Salas says, “So the program is going to include stories a poem that was written by one of our members it was an original peace as well as a blessing and a presentation of a wreath to the guardsmen and then we will go through a role call listing of the names of the guardsmen.”
The insular guardsmen were classified not as Navy seamen but native seamen. They were only assembled 9 months prior to the Japanese attack and were using mostly outdated rifles and pistols