Liberation Day Prayer 1958

 One thing that I enjoy about being a researcher is that I get to search for things and come across things that others may not have the time, resources or privileges to find. 

But the question is, what do you do with all of these things that you are able to gather?

That was always a things that bothered me being part of academia. Is that so much of what I spent time working on was to be funneled into particular forums or formats, where it may not reach many people (scholars included).

I remember talking to a Chamoru who has been at a university in the states for many years now about this issue. He in his time in archives across the US and the Pacific, had collected so much incredible research from Chamoru history. 

He maintained that he was serving his islands back home and the Chamoru people in general by publishing his work into books and articles. I can understand that, but I had to be honest and remind him that I've never met an actual person back home who has read your books or uses them to understand our past. What is the point of writing thick tomes about the Chamoru people if it has no practical value or relevance to them? Does this just recreate the same problematic dynamic over power/knowledge that we've always had? But now the researchers and academics may be Chamoru or have ties in the islands?

For me, it has always been a struggle trying to find creative ways to get out into the world the things that I am fortunate to find. This is why the Guam Bus exists. This is why Fanachu exists. This is why I enjoy working at The Guam Museum. This is what I do through social media, and so many other things I do in the global Guam/Marianas community. 

Here is something random that I was writing notes about earlier today. From the 1958 Guam Liberation Day booklet, it featured a prayer printed in its pages. Not sure what exactly drew me to it, since I am not religious. But I felt like posting it here and so that is why this post exists. Text is below.

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Liberation Day Prayer 1958

 

Lord, God of our Fathers, under whose Providence nations prosper and peoples are blessed, we turn to Thee on this anniversary of our liberation, mindful of Thy place in our past history, in our present opportunities and in the promises of the future.

 

We adore Thy Divine Majesty and Power as we acknowledge that our destiny is in thy hands.

 

We are grateful for the many blessings which Thou hast showered upon Guam, and we admit the justice of the chastisements we have known.

 

We acknowledge our failure at times to fulfill thy Divine commands. We ask forgiveness for our failures. We are determined to serve Thee better in the days to come.

 

Finally, O Lord of Nations, we pray Three for the spiritual and material blessings we need and desire for this territory, so that we may always be mindful of our dependence upon Thee, who hast hallowed our past, dost bless our present state, and holdest forth the promise of blessings to come for those who remain faithful to Thee and steadfast in Thy service.

 

Amen.


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