Hafa na Liberasion? #1
ON July 21, 2007, the people of Guam will again celebrate the glorious "Liberation Day." It's sad to say that our Guamanian leaders back on July 21, 1944 did not know that the American liberators became the re-occupation armed forces for the next 63 years. Guam and the Chamoru people continue to remain under U.S. colonial rule to the present day.
The following are excerpts from a letter dated approximately five years ago by American liberators Mr. Darrel Doss, Marine; Mr. Robert Arzenberger, Navy; Mr. Loran "Pee Wee" Day, Marine; Mr. Carilisle "Ki" Evans, Marine; Mr. Elmer Mapes, Marine: "…We have been honored as liberators, but did we truly liberate Guam? The answer is no. We only partially liberated you. The Congress of the United States could earn the title of true liberators by granting this paradise of the Pacific commonwealth status. Congress should also grant the citizens of Guam equal rights and voting privileges that we in the 50 states have enjoyed for years…"
The excerpts indicate that Guam was not truly liberated. So what liberation are the people of Guam celebrating? Should our Guamanian leaders rename the activities as "Partial Liberation Day" or, better yet, change it to "Re-occupation Day" or the "Recapture of Guam Day" or "Guamanian-American Friendship Day"?
Fanachu, Chamoru! Biba Chamoru!
VICENTE "FA'ET" GARRIDO
Maga'lahi, Nasion Chamoru
From Charissa Aguon
Mr. Darrel Doss was interviewed by Sonya Artero on KUAM Extra a few days ago. He recalled with heartfelt emotion- the strength and determination of the survivors of the Japanese occupation that he and many encountered on that day. He told of his life long love for our people and determination to advocate on our behalf -full rights as American citizens. I commend him and the many other "liberators"who continue to advocate and support our people's quest for self-determination. Mr. Doss had stated in his interview, that in his heart- he is Chamorro and I believe that he truly feels that way. He strikes me as a human being who understands that we are all in essence, members of one race- the human race.
As the Liberation Day celebrations come around the corner, many of us may have mixed emotions about the celebration. While we continue to do the important work of raising consciousness about the "reality" of our "liberation",our liminal political status and other injustices-let us not forget in the process to commemorate the end of a truly brutal period in our history. Let us not forget to remember those who died, those who survived and with great courage moved forward and share their stories with us today. Their stories serve to remind us of the ugly human potential for brutal destruction but more importantly- remind us of the strength , will and valor of our people in times of great tribulation.
We should also remember to commemorate those like Mr. Darrel Doss. Despite the "real" intentions of the larger political forces that brought them to our shores-they did put their lives on the line with the truest intention to "liberate" our people and they have since, made it their life's quest.