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Back Local News Guam Windward Memorial to open by year’s end

Guam Windward Memorial to open by year’s end

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GUAM Windward Memorial will likely be open by the end of the year if all goes according to plan, said Robert P. Salas, owner of the new cemetery and president of LMS Guam Inc. The property is currently being landscaped and seeded while gates, monuments, memorials and other fixtures are being custom manufactured off-island.

“It’s been about nine years since we secured the land and went through government permitting,” he said. “It’s going to be a modern cemetery. We’ve brought in half a dozen to a dozen consultants to date.”

While the look and features of the cemetery will be modern, one of the prime consultants is feng shui master Larry Sang, president of the American Feng Shui Institute who has been to Guam and the site several times.

“He advised us on how the roads should meander in [by] looking at the earth, wind and water,” Salas said. “He gave us the direction of our plots.”

Sang also pointed out the areas in the cemetery with the best feng shui, which will likely be in highest demand, Salas said. He also intends to consult Sang as to the most fortuitous time to begin cemetery operations.

The 17-acre property is located in Windward Hills, adjacent to Our Lady of Peace and Windward Hills Apartments on Cross Island Road. About 1.5 acres is wetland, which cannot be developed.

Cremains

The cemetery will include 13,270 burial plots and have capacity for 200 to 500 urns with cremated remains (cremains). It will also feature a scattering garden for ashes of the deceased with a wall for commemorative plaques with the names of those whose remains are scattered there.

“A lot of what we’re doing is unique,” Salas said. “We want to give people a lot of choices. We’ll offer something for everyone.” The memorials and fixtures throughout the cemetery will be made of granite. Features include a reflection pond with underwater niches for burial urns, a “heaven’s gate” burial area for children, “family tree” areas with a live tree in the center of a delineated area and niches for urns under the tree, family burial areas with bench seating, an “angel’s nest” columbarium with niche columns and a variety of memorials and columbariums for families and individuals.

In addition to standard ground-level cemetery plots, the perimeter will be lined with 797 vertical estate plots. Three structures are planned for the cemetery – an administration building, a restroom structure and a maintenance and storage building.

Not surprisingly, gardening and landscaping will be a major emphasis of Guam Windward Memorial. “We followed the topography of the land when we landscaped,” Salas said. Vegetation will be 80 percent native. Salas is still determining the best mix of plants for aesthetics and to withstand the winds in the area. Irrigation of the area is solar-operated and automated to perform according to the weather.

“When you visit your deceased family members you want to be proud,” Salas said. “We want this to be a place families can be proud of.”

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