The Guam National Guard held a ceremony Thursday honoring the island’s fallen military heroes.
Every last Monday of May, the country celebrates Memorial Day during which the men and women who died while serving in the military are honored.
Every year, the Guam National Guard also holds its Fallen Heroes ceremony to pay tribute to Guard members who made the ultimate sacrifice.
During Thursday’s, ceremony, State Command Sergeant Major Celso M. Leonen said that although Memorial Day is held on the last day of May nationally, Thursday’s ceremony was set aside to honor those who had died while serving in the Guam’s National Guard.
After his opening remarks, Leonen recited the names of the fallen and the dates they died during the solemn ceremony.
“I will always remember the dates, our brothers in arms, their sacrifice on the battlefield … your duty is done! Our freedom lights continuously and shines brightly because of you. This one event is commemorated for you and will always stand steadfast and serve as a reminder of your legacy … your sacrifice, honor, and service to our nation and our island,” Leonen said.
Leonen added that he knew the fallen soldiers personally and is proud to have served beside them.
“I watched these warriors grow to become great leaders. Passionate and committed to service. These warriors were the very same bloodstream of our ancient Chamorri warriors. I am truly honored to have served with you, alongside you, and forever for you. The people of Guam, soldiers, airmen, marines, sailors and families, have been the most patriotic people with the highest per capita serving our military. They continue to serve our nation and our island,” Leonen said.
Guam has one of the highest concentrations of military veterans among U.S. states and territories. Guam has roughly 28% out of over 167,200 population in the U.S. military today.