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Looking back at December 8, 1941

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It's been 76 years since December 8, 1941. The fateful day were just hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese Imperial planes flew over Guam. This day marked the beginning of three years of occupation, where thousands lost their lives, many today claiming they deserve more.

"We were in Mannengon Camp - no food, water hardly any, people are drowning hungry, crying, name it. We suffered a lot," recalled Nesita Sabrina Ada Lizama. She's now 90 years old, but she was only 14 during the occupation of Guam. Nesita was one of hundreds man'amko who came to the University of Guam to file war claims.

Volunteers from Independent Guahan, UOG, and the Guam War Survivors Memorial Foundation helping fill out forms even providing on-site notary services. Dr. Michael Bevacqua, co-chair of Independent Guahan, says even with laws like the WWII Loyalty and Recognition Act, Chamorros have not received compensation.

"War reparations has been going on for so long so many people have been waiting for it," he said. "It's one of the saddest things about this is that as we're bringing closure to one group of people eligible but the majority of Chamorros are not eligible."

Francine Naputi, a member of Independent Guahan, says that current law does not allow the next of kin to file, saying, "Hopefully, they can revise that and open up that timeline to allow more people to claim on behalf of their deceased relatives."

On this day in history, it's not just about war claims but remembering the stories of WWII Survivors. "On this anniversary of December 8, when of course the anniversary Japan first attacked the island, what a better way to give closure to commemorate them, celebrate their experience their survival," said Naputi.

For Nesita and many survivors, it's a day they will never forget, said, "Coming from Asan in Yona, Japanese just chopped their heads but like I said, what can we do but pray to the Lord," she said.

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