Guam - It was over 10 years ago the National Park Service began creating the Asan Bay Overlook Memorial Wall. It was meant to be a tribute to last the test of time, however, that was not the case.

Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo said, "The first wall was erected in 1996, but it was severely damaged the following year due to the typhoon, in 2007 the wall was vandalized." Looters stole the plaques inscribed with names of those who died, and sold it for scrap metal.

Although disheartened by this, the National Park Service worked tirelessly to create a new memorial with an even greater collection of names of both Chamorros and American servicemembers who fought and died during the Japanese occupation of World War II.

Lieutenant Governor Ray Tenorio stated, "We look at names, and we don't see the person, and the pain and the suffering and the death that came from that - that makes our life what it is today: the democracy to be able to speak our minds, to be able to redress our government, to be able to have the quality of life."  He said all things that we enjoy and take for granted today, come from the sacrifice of others, and thanked the audience for attending despite deplorable weather conditions.

"Thank you for the time and the commitment that you've made, to endure the weather, and overcome the traffic accidents, and the water puddles that have made your life difficult, but the difficulties that were faced by the people on this wall is far greater than any difficulty we could imagine," he shared.

Bordallo emphasized that the wall included names of 17,771 people who suffered. 71 years later, she said, their names are now a testament to the resilience of the Chamorro people. "As we rededicate this wall, I hope that it will always serve as a reminder of the role Guam played during World War II, and the resilience our people have demonstrated throughout the history," she noted.

The War in the Pacific National Historical Park Asan Bay Overlook Memorial Wall is open 8-5pm daily, for our island residents to visit and commemorate our fallen heroes.