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Latte of Freedom hosts special ceremony

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - A first for Guam took place this morning at Adelup. Although officially already serving, Guam congressional delegate Madeliene Bordallo and U.S. Marshal for Guam and the CNMI Frank Leon Guerrero experienced an event signifying the start of their terms to office.

A ceremonial swearing-in ceremony was held today for the two federal officials, as District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydinco Gatewood presided over the ceremony held in the Hall of Governors at the Latte of Freedom. Governor Eddie Calvo spoke of the significance of the location, saying, "What it symbolizes to the congresslady and even to this administration - the backdrop is the Latte of Freedom, which again, was started by her late husband and it symbolizes the confidence in our island and our future."  

Both Bordallo and Leon Guerrero were sworn into their respective positions earlier this month in Washington, DC. This was the first time the ceremony was held on Guam.  Leon Guerrero is a retired police officer with decades of public service under his belt, saying, "You know, it's really great looking at the people that you are going to be working for and tell them I am here for you," he said.

During her speech, Congresswoman Bordallo reflected back to her first swearing-in ceremony to congress in DC in 2003, remembering, "It was a new experience, a change of scenery, a very momentous time in my life. However, I remember thinking to myself after all my years of public service I have made it to Washington, DC, but now that it is official nobody that voted for me is here to see it."

Today plenty of Guam voters as well as dignitaries were on hand to witness the event, where the Democratic congresswoman spoke of the challenges of working with a Republican Congress. "And I am very confident I will be able to continue a bipartisan approach in congress to advance issues important to our island," she said.

This will be Bordallo's fifth term as Guam delegate and Leon Guerrero's first to serve as U.S. Marshal. But for both, the first time experience of being sworn in among friends and family seemed to have a special significance.  Bordallo captured the moment perfectly, saying, "I am humbled by this historic opportunity - there is truly no place like home."

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