For the last 75 years, Guam has come together to celebrate the liberation of our island from the Japanese occupation. But this year, an invisible invader, the coronavirus, put a halt to some of the Liberation Day festivities.
There will be no Liberation Day Parade or Carnival this year, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero confirmed at today’s online news conference.
“We are not planning a parade and carnival. These are events that have a massive congregation and at this point and time, it is just less than eight weeks away, and we’re still in this pandemic public health emergency. I am not willing as Governor of Guam to expose the safety of our people out there,” the governor said.
In February, the Mayors’ Council of Guam met with the governor to talk about the 76th Liberation Parade and festivities.
MCOG executive director Angel Sablan says that at that meeting the governor took on the responsibility of planning and putting together the parade and carnival, leaving the Liberation Queen festivities and memorials to the MCOG.
But Guam, like the rest of the world, was hit with the COVID-19 pandemic and talks of Liberation festivities were put on the back burner and haven’t been discussed since.
Sablan says this year’s liberation festivities will not be like the ones we have seen in the past but he would like to make some festivities happen.
“Certainly, there is that possibility. I already know that we will not have the festivities as we have in the past. At this point, we do not believe that there will be a carnival. As far as memorials, we feel that we still want to make that happen but there will be some protocols put in place to make it happen,” Sablan said.
As for the Liberation Day parade, which draws out thousands of island residents, while it is not going to happen the governor is looking into other options for celebration.
“It wasn’t a very light decision to make because we are always celebrating our Liberation Day. But we may come up with ways to virtually celebrate our Liberation Day. But as of now, I am not at all inclined to allow parades or carnival,” the governor stressed.