Guam – The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918: it’s been a hundred years since Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I. Today Americans recognize the occasion as Veterans Day, honoring all who serve in the US armed forces. PNC visited a couple of festivities over Veterans Day Weekend.
On Friday, Nov. 9, United States Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets saluted veterans with a special drill team performance at the Tiyan High School gymnasium, honoring those who’ve served flag and country—from right here on Guam: by enlistment rates, one of the most patriotic spots on earth!
“Today we are honoring and thanking our veterans, teachers, as well as recognizing veterans who fought during the Vietnam war,” a cadet told those gathered.
Cadets, students, faculty, and administrators sang the national anthem and a selection of sacred Chamorro melodies. The unarmed guard performed syncopated steps, chants, and slap-and-clap dances, and the color guard bore banners with pride and honor.
Through a command performance softened by somber song, cadets and instructors paid homage to the culture and homelands of both the liberator and the liberated.
On Sunday, Nov. 11, Governor Eddie Calvo, Acting Speaker Therese Terlaje, and Chief Justice Katherine Maraman hosted veterans at Governor Joseph Flores Memorial Park at Ypao Beach.
“What a beautiful morning it is in paradise! Don’t you agree?” Governor Calvo greeted attendees. “Seventy-plus years ago, this beautiful paradise…was…enjoying the freedom that our men and women in uniform had fought for us…our shores spilled in the blood of our men and women in uniform who liberated this piece of American soil from tyranny.”
Keynote speaker Naval Base Guam Commanding Officer CAPT Jeffrey Grimes recognized American veterans for past and present service in the name of freedom, both abroad and right here at home in the archipelago.
“I’m pretty sure we wouldn’t be standing here before you today…without the service and sacrifice of our military veterans,” Grimes said.
“As I speak now…military service members are assisting the citizens of Saipan and Tinan…[to] recover from the devastation left by Typhoon Yutu [and the] destruction in its wake…veterans from the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Guam National Guard, and Coast Guard have answered the call in so many ways…providing water…critical materials and supplies.”