Liberation commemoration not entirely canceled

Pia Mia was one of the biggest entertainment draws of the 75th Liberation celebration. This year, the parade will be done virtually. (PNC file photo)

Liberation Day activities this year are not entirely canceled as Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero does have plans for island residents to commemorate 77 years of freedom.

Liberation Day has also been targeted as the day Guam achieves “liberation from the virus” under the Guam National Guard’s Operation Liberate Guam, which aims to help the island reach “herd immunity” via vaccination no later than July 21, 2021 – Guam’s Liberation Day. And based on current numbers, Guam is on its way towards celebrating that milestone.

Before the pandemic, the village mayors usually start planning for Liberation Day festivities, from village parades and floats to the Liberation Queen raffle, and preparations start as early as January of every year.

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Piti Mayor and President of the Mayors Council Jesse Alig went on air with Newstalk K57’s Patti Arroyo Wednesday morning and says that he and the mayors are not enthusiastic about the decision of not having the parade this year, but they understand the reality of Guam’s current status and it’s better to be safe than sorry.

But although the mayors are not actively heading the Liberation Day festivities like they usually do, this does not mean that other government agencies can’t take the lead.

“Nothing precludes anyone, nothing precludes the government, the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor, or the Speaker perhaps to execute another type of event for liberation that is appropriate at the time if the PCOR level should change and if guidelines should be lifted,” Alig said.

According to the governor’s communications director, Krystal Paco San Agustin, Adelup is still closely monitoring the situation and focusing on its Path to Half and Operation Liberate Guam initiatives to reopen Guam and achieve herd immunity. At worst, she said Adelup is planning for virtual liberation events this year, but there will still be a commemoration.

Mayor Alig also says that Guam’s liberation will still be commemorated this year.

“I think we’re going to commemorate liberation. I think we’re still definitely going to have all of the memorials at the different sites. But we have to recognize that the pandemic is still with us and until the governor and Public Health have lifted their guidelines, I think we still have to be careful that we don’t experience another surge,” the mayor said.