Bordallo Leads National Commemoration of the 74th Anniversary of the Liberation of Guam
Washington, D.C. – Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo (D-GU) joined Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-NMI) in leading events in Washington, D.C. to commemorate the 74th Anniversary of the Liberation of Guam and the Battle for the Northern Mariana Islands.
Congresswoman Bordallo organized a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington National Cemetery to honor the Chamorro people of Guam who endured the occupation during World War II and the American servicemembers who fought to liberate the island. The Congresswoman invited Irene Sgambelluri, a survivor of the occupation, to be the guest of honor and lay the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown in Arlington. Mrs. Sgambelluri was accompanied by her son, Ralph Sgambelluri, and granddaughter, Sophia Quinata.
Congresswoman Bordallo also introduced the Occupation of Guam Remembrance Act (H.R.6381), to update the memorial wall at the Asan Bay Overlook of the War in the Pacific National Historical Park to include the names of all those filed for war claims, but whose name is currently missing from the memorial wall. Her bill would also provide an opportunity for the community to include additional names of their loved ones on the memorial wall, as well as a formal mechanism for the National Park Service to update the wall, as corrections need to be made.
“We must never forget the sacrifices made by our island’s manamko’ during World War II. Today, I was pleased to lead a wreath laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery to honor the Chamorro people of Guam who endured 32 months of occupation and wartime atrocities and the American servicemembers who fought to liberate our island in 1944. I was pleased to have Irene Sgambelluri, my dear friend and a survivor of the occupation, join me in laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown, representing all our Chamorro men and women who suffered through the war. Guam’s greatest generation—our manamko'—who endured the war and survived have much to teach us. They are in my prayers today.
“I also introduced the Occupation of Guam Remembrance Act, in recognition of the atrocities endured by the Chamorro people of Guam during World War II. My bill will ensure that all those victims and survivors who submitted for war claims will have their names inscribed on the memorial wall at the Asan Bay Overlook. The memorial wall is the only national monument dedicated to the sacrifices of Guam’s Chamorro people during the war. The addition of all war claimants to the memorial wall will ensure that future generations will see the names of those who sacrificed dearly for Guam and our future.”
Other distinguished guests joining Congresswoman Bordallo and Mrs. Sgambelluri at the wreath laying ceremony include:
General Joseph E. Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Admiral Karl L. Schultz, Commandant of the Coast Guard
Lieutenant General Daniel R. Hokanson, Vice Chief of the National Guard Bureau
Major General Marc H. Sasseville, Deputy Director of the Air National Guard
Major General Brian Winski, Chief of the Army Legislative Liaison
Kimitake Nakamura, Representative of the Embassy of Japan
Gunther Sales, Representative of the Embassy of the Philippines
Commodore David Gibbs, Representative of the Embassy of New Zealand
Therese Arriola, Secretary of the Guam Visitors Bureau Board of Directors
Dee Hernandez, Cultural Heritage Officer for the Guam Visitors Bureau
Kaemiha Muna, 2017 Guam Liberation Queen
Mark Mendiola, Chairman of the Guam Board of Education
Jon Fernandez, Superintendent of the Guam Department of Education
and residents of Guam and members of the Guam Society of America