Guam – Members of the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band took part in numerous events celebrating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Guam July 18-22 on the Marianas Island of Guam.
The band provided support through musical performances at different ceremonies, and acted as representatives of the Marine Corps for the liberation anniversary.
“The experience was great,” said Lance Cpl. Zachary Hinds, a Mountainair, New Mexico, native and euphonium musician with the III MEF Band. “Being able to provide musical support for the people of Guam was an experience I will never forget. Music brings so much more to the liberation anniversary that cannot be easily matched by other sources.”
The band played in several performances over the four day trip including shows in two of Guam’s premier shopping centers, two evening concerts at the liberation carnival grounds, and most notably they marched in Guam’s Liberation Day Parade on July 21.
The events brought together members of the Guam community, World War II veterans who served during Guam’s liberation and representatives from each branch of the U.S. military.
[Members of the III Marine Expeditionary Force Band perform during an evening concert July 21 at the liberation carnival grounds in Barrigada, Guam. The band performed a list of patriotic songs in spirit of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Guam. The band was in Guam July 18-22 to provide musical support and Marine Corps representation for liberation anniversary events. The performance was one of several from the III MEF Band during their time in Guam. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Drew Tech/Released)]
“It was an absolute joy to participate in such a meaningful series of events,” said Gunnery Sgt. Francisco Gaxiola, the enlisted conductor with the III MEF Band. “Playing for events such as this is the thing I enjoy the most about my (job). The fact that I have the opportunity to lead the III MEF Band in such an event as this makes me very proud. I also get a sense of satisfaction knowing that our efforts in Guam remind the people of Guam about all the great things some very valiant Marines did here 70 years ago.”
The strong patriotism of the Guamanian people did not go unnoticed by the band, according to Gaxiola, a Los Angeles, California, native.
“The people of Guam are very proud to be Americans,” said Gaxiola. “It was very evident when we played patriotic selections such as ‘God Bless America,’ ‘This is My Country’ and ‘America, the Beautiful.’ Many clapped along to every song we played, and some people even sang along.”
Seeing the Marines perform was a delight for the Guamanian people, especially on the anniversary of a liberation which holds so much meaning to them, according to Jesse C. Dydasco, a resident of Guam and Marine veteran.
“The people of Guam are so grateful that the Marines came over and liberated us from the Imperial Forces of Japan,” said Dydasco. “We will never forget that. Never forget it.”