A prayer and blessing of the graves were held at Sumay Cemetery on U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) Nov. 2 for All Souls Day — a day for commemoration of all the faithful departed.
Father William Brunner, NBG chaplain, and Father Richard Kidd, from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Santa Rita, blessed the graves to honor and remember those buried at the cemetery.
The blessing was coordinated with the Santa Rita Mayor’s Office, the church, and NBG. Due to COVID-19, an All Souls Day Mass was not held. However, family members were able to visit the cemetery throughout the day.
In preparation for All Souls Day, NBG staff and volunteers cleaned the cemetery and placed flowers at the grave sites prior to and following the blessing.
Sumay Village was known as the Pearl of Guam. It was a flourishing coastal town and a hub of commerce. On Dec. 8, 1941, bombs dropped by Japanese planes forced the residents of Sumay to flee the village. Those who stayed would be evacuated by Japanese soldiers and all that would be left behind was a cross from the village church, a few ruined structures, and the village cemetery.
Today, many of the former Sumay residents and their families live in Santa Rita, a village formed after the liberation of Guam in 1944.
(Naval Base Guam News Release)