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ICY rain poured down as a congregation gathered at the Chagui’an Memorial site in Yigo on Friday.
The service memorialized the events that occurred there more than 50 years ago. On Aug. 8, 1944, Marine forces discovered the decapitated bodies of 45 Chamorro men and boys who were force-marched by Japanese troops from places such as the Fena area and Manenggon to carry supplies to the Japanese command post on Mount Mataguac, Yigo.
“Every year it rains,” said Sen. Frank Blas Jr., who was the keynote speaker for the memorial service. The reason it rains, the senator said, is to sanctify and bless the land.
“Nature is trying to purify this land of the horror and blood that occurred here,” Gov. Eddie Calvo added.
This year marks the fifth year of commemorating the events that occurred. It is the first year the governor of Guam has attended the memorial.
The Marines’ discovery of the atrocity remained lost in history until a few short years ago when a group of University of Guam students made it part of their coursework to scour the land in 2004 for the location of the massacre. The students were led by David Lots and Peter Onedera and assisted by Marine personnel.
Yigo Mayor Robert Lizama accompanied the group to the excavation site and worked for the following years to get the site to be officially recognized as part of Guam Liberation events.
Since the massacre, through the Chamorro Land Trust, the land came into the possession of Teddy Pangelinan Conception, who graciously released that part of his land which marked the historical site so that a tribute could be built and visited.