Ceremony honors victims of Chagui'an massacre - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Ceremony honors victims of Chagui'an massacre

Posted: Aug 08, 2018 2:15 PM Updated:

74 years ago, 52 Chamorros from across the island were killed in the Chagui'an area of Yigo. A ceremony was held Wednesday to honor the men who were beheaded by Japanese soldiers in the waning days of Guam's liberation.

These are the names of the 45 men whose headless remains were found in Chaguian. More recently, seven others are believed to have been similarly slain in an area nearby known as Salisbury, though three remain unknown. It's been the mission of Retired Army Sergeant Major Juan Blaz to make sure these massacre victims are never forgotten. He and Yigo Mayor Rudy Matanane organize the yearly memorials.

The mayor reads a letter this year from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: "What we must not forget is that a number of Guamanians, living peacefully with love to the beautiful homeland, fell victim to the war. On this occasion, I would like to extend my prayer for souls of all the victims of Chagui'an."

The slain chamorros ranged in age from 15 to 76. They were killed in the last days before the American liberation invasion. Keynote speaker Air Force Brigadier General Gentry Boswell quoting scripture on how the Lord is close to the brokenhearted, as he said, "They remind us that through all the days of our lives, in goodness and in bad, the Lord will never forsake us. He is with us always just as He was with these men on their last day on this earth, He was with them in their transition to the next life with Him and He is with us today as we remember this, a different community with healing and forgiveness."

The victims were honored with wreaths by the dignitaries. And family members were called on to light candles in their memory.

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