Guam celebrates 77th Liberation Day and the upcoming ‘liberation’ from the COVID-19 virus

Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero delivers her Liberation Day address during the commemoration of the 77th anniversary of Guam's liberation. (PNC video capture)

Under overcast skies and pouring rain, Guam commemorated Liberation Day today, with Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero comparing the struggle for liberation 77 years ago to the current war against the COVID 19 virus.

In her Liberation Day address, the governor said our people have a history of survival against all odds.

“When the Spanish brought disease and discourse from tuberculosis and gunfire, our indigenous population was reduced to 10%. Even still, we survived. When super typhoon winds and rain swallowed our island. Our people did not falter. Instead, we learned to weather the storm,” Leon Guerrero said.

When COVID-19 came to Guam and threatened lives and livelihoods, the governor said the people persevered rather than surrender to the clutches of the deadly virus.

“We’ve pushed forward together. And when the vaccine became available, you got your shots. You have been our army in this battle. And for that, I thank you for helping us to achieve one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation and in the world. Now we lead by example, sharing our vaccine success with others and doing our part in the global fight,” Leon Guerrero said.

In the coming days, the governor said the island will have achieved the objective of Operation Liberate Guam, referring to the goal of attaining 80 percent full vaccination rate for Guam.

“When this day comes, life will resume to some sense of normalcy. We will enjoy friends and family without caps and social gatherings, and businesses can resume operations at 100% occupancy with no limits,” Leon Guerrero said.

While she plans to lift these restrictions, the governor said the mask mandate will remain in place.

“Historically, July 21, 1944, marked the turning point for Guam And the same sentiment rings true today. Much like our forebearers rebuilt, we will do so again. Today, we celebrate liberation. For 77 years, Guam’s liberation story has been the story of survival — a story of moving past fear, a story of resilience and recovery, and a story of rising against all peril. Biba Guam!” the governor concluded.