Thursday, April 30, 2015

Atate Book Launch

I spent a year working on getting the book "Massacre at Atate" by Jose M. Torres published. It is a first hand account of one of the few times during the Japanese occupation of Guam that the Chamorro people openly resisted and fought back. There are countless instances of Chamorros passively resisting, but this was one of the few moments that I've been able to collect where you can point to Chamorros using violent resistance to protect themselves. There are only a few men left who took up arms against the Japanese in July 1944 and Mr. Torres was one of the youngest at that time.

We had a reading in Malesso' a few weeks ago in the historic Merlyn G. Cook school. This was a followup to the large book launch that we had in February which was attended by close to 300 people. I came across this account of the book launch, that I wanted to share here:

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http://micronesianmission.blogspot.com/2015/02/wwii-historical-lecture-more-than-we.html

2/25/15

WWII Historical Lecture - More than we expected

I spent a year working on getting the book "Massacre at Atate" by Jose M. Torres published. It is a first hand account of one of the few times during the Japanese occupation of Guam that the Chamorro people openly resisted and fought back. There are countless instances of Chamorros passively resisting, but this was one of the few moments that I've been able to collect where you can point to Chamorros using violent resistance to protect themselves. There are only a few men left who took up arms against the Japanese in July 1944 and Mr. Torres was one of the youngest at that time.

We had a reading in Malesso' a few weeks ago in the historic Merlyn G. Cook school. This was a followup to the large book launch that we had in February which was attended by close to 300 people. I came across this account of the book launch, that I wanted to share here:

A few hours before it started, Elder and Sister Hurst told us about a lecture on a new WWII based book being released, The Massacre at Atate, by Jose M. Torres. I expected a real snoozer but it turned out to be quite enjoyable. We enjoy learning about the cultural history of Guam.

When we arrived at the University of Guam Lecture hall, it was filled to capacity, and then some.





The event began with Guam cultural singing and dancing by groups from the University of Guam. They were great.


The evening also included introductions by UOG (University of Guam) President Robert Underwood, Chamorro Studies program director Michael Lujan Bevacqua and others. These people were involved in helping to get this book off the ground.

Jose M. Torres, Authur of the book and eye-witness to the events over 70 years ago, did a short reading from the new book. They finished with Q & A. 




Mr Torres received a standing ovation. A huge line formed for book signing and meeting Mr. Torres. In the lobby, Guam/Chamorro type refreshments were served.


Sister Martin, Sister Guercio, Elder Guercio, Sister Reed, Elder Reed. The Thomas's and Hursts were in front of them 
All in all a very interesting evening that we were happy to have had the opportunity to attend. We've learned that so many in Guam are wonderful, warm-hearted people. 



We bought a book and waited in line to have Mr. Torres sign it for 30 minutes. We then realized that we were taking Elder and Sister Hurst to the airport that night so they could catch their plane to Yap island. We also needed take President Zarbock's van to the airport because he was arriving back from Yap in the middle of the night. Oh well, we didn't get an autographed copy. But we are reading it and so far, it's an interesting story.

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