Petition Drive to Congress for War Reparations Continues

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Guam – A release from “We Are Guahan” member Victoria Leon Guerrero is urging island residents to sign an online petition to Congress by the end of next week in order to help ensure Guam’s World War II survivors, and their immediate descendants, receive war reparations.

According to the release:

In the weeks ahead, the US Senate will begin their process on the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act. The House of Representatives approved the Act with an amendment that adds to the bill the text of the Guam World War II Loyalty Recognition Act, granting reparations to the island’s war survivors. However, there is a threat that some senators may not allow the reparations to remain in the final version of the bill that the Senate will vote on later this year. If that happens, Guam’s war survivors will have to continue to wait for justice.

The Office of Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr. launched the website www.guamwarsurvivorstory.com on August 31, 2010 that includes an online petition to Congress urging senators to keep Guam’s war reparations in the final version of the defense bill, and to approve the bill when it is voted on. Thus far, the petition has garnered about 200 signatures, but many more are needed to make Guam’s voice loud and clear, and to grab the Senate’s attention.

The people of Guam are being asked to visit www.guamwarsurvivorstory.com and click on the “Petition2Congress” link at the top of the menu on the left side of the home page to sign the petition. It takes only one minute to sign and could make a tremendous difference for Guam’s war survivors, many of whom have died before ever receiving restitution for the atrocities they suffered during World War II. There were more than 22,000 people who lived through the war on Guam. Of that group, less than 1,000 are alive today, and more continue to die.

“When we started our war survivors series entitled ‘Real People. Real Stories,’ 29 of our featured 30 war survivors were alive,” said Senator Frank F. Blas, Jr. “Since our series launch in November 2009, we have lost three of our featured man’amko (Dr. Rosa Carter, Mr. Jesus Perez Sablan, and Mr. Juan Unpingco). How many more will pass away before they receive their just and deserved recognition?”