Veterans, families, and active duty service members were brought together today to commemorate the sacrifices made to protect us and our freedom.
Hundreds of active duty service members, veterans organizations, and ROTC students gathered at Joseph Flores Memorial Park (Ypao Beach Park) in honor of Veterans Day to recognize those who have served, those who are serving, and those who will serve.
At the ceremony, several veterans representing various organizations and villages, were recognized by the island’s government and military officials for their outstanding service to the community.
In addition, officials from the Government of Guam, Joint Region Marianas, and other entities recounted the importance of this day commemorating those who chose to put on the uniform.
Captain Maria Young, from the U.S. Naval Hospital, said: “Who knows what it is to actually sacrifice for freedom? You all have seen what war brings and what can come out of it. You know what it takes to be free and the cost of that.”
While recognizing the importance of the island’s veterans, Governor Lou Leon Guerrero stressed her administration’s pledge to ensure a great quality of life for those who have served.
“Josh and I and our administration will pledge to continue to work with the federal government and the Veterans Affairs Office to make sure that our veterans receive every benefit to which you are entitled because of your service and your sacrifice,” the governor said.
But none of these remarks would be warranted without those who chose to serve — an example being Juan Quidachay, a decorated veteran who has never missed paying tribute to those who served with him during the Vietnam War.
“It’s very important to honor us today…even the people who right now are someplace elsewhere. They’re fighting right now,” Quidachay said.