Residents remember dozens of fallen from Fena massacre - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Residents remember dozens of fallen from Fena massacre

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by Krystal Paco

Guam - While we gear up to celebrate the island's 69th liberation this weekend, it was a solemn morning in the southern village of Agat as friends, family, dignitaries, and strangers gathered to remember the dozens fallen at the Fena massacre.

"I am Silvina Charfauros Cruz Taumomoa, my father Pedro Ofrecido Cruz was a victim of the Fena massacre," a woman explained. "His three brothers - Juan, Jose, and Joaquin Cruz - were listed as survivors of the massacre."

Her family owned part of Fena Valley - a place she may be limited to visiting today, but still calls her ancestral land.

"Our history is written in stone. The biggest latte stones to be found on this island was built by ancestors at that valley those latte stones were a clan legacy and we're supposed to serve as landmarks designating Fena and Sumitana as our ancestral home, a place the clan should return to time to time."

And as Taumomoa reflects, even after the war, guerilla warfare continued making it difficult for her family to retrieve her father's bones out from Fena Cave - a task, she says, took an entire year to do.

She said, "My father's body mummified and his remains remained intact. The rest of the victims had their bones carried out in small boxes that was wrapped up and has to be carried out a s corpse there was an all night wake for the victims in the homes of their families."

In his full-sized coffin, she remembers the large, weeping audience who watched as his corpse was laid to rest at the old Agat cemetery - a site she and the remaining members of the Fena massacre memorial board hope to establish as the Fena Massacre Memorial Cemetery.

Agat mayor Carol Tayama said, "Today we will witness the calling of the names of all who perished in the fena cave massacre. Although we will not hear their voices respond to our call know that they are looking at us from up above. This event today is very significant to the theme of this year's liberation: "stories of courage and faith."

She added, "69 years later we're an even a stronger people and more importantly a forgiving people."

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