Guam governor joins world leaders in remembering Queen Elizabeth II
Updated: Sep 11, 2022
By Pacific Island Times News Staff
Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero and Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio joined world leaders in paying tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, who died Thursday at the age of 96.
“We join Guam and the United Kingdom in mourning the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, whose service as a revered monarch carved out the modern heart and soul of her country,” said Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero.
“All told, Queen Elizabeth II met 14 American presidents and one Governor of Guam during her devoted reign when she joined her beloved Prince Philip with Governor Ricardo Bordallo and First Lady Madeleine Bordallo for a brief meeting on our beautiful island in 1975 — a piece of history honorably preserved in our Guam Museum. The thoughts and prayers of the people of Guam are with the people of the United Kingdom and the commonwealth, as we send our deepest condolences to the royal family.”
Lt. Gov. Josh Tenorio recalled that lLast year, Guam twice welcomed the British Carrier Strike Group 21 and the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier, "showcasing our continuing commitment today to foster global alliances and support the regional exercises that strengthen our national security,."
“As we prepare to commemorate 21 years since the tragedies of 9/11, we reflect on the Queen’s response and solidarity in her reminder to the world that "grief is the price we pay for love," Tenorio said. "Today, as we find ourselves on the road to recovery, we draw inspiration from her legacy of stability and her spirit of hope in the most testing of times.”
Henry Puna, secretary general of the Pacific Islands Forum, said the queen's special relationship with the Pacific, in particular the founding leaders of the Forum, "was clearly evident in her deep interest and abiding affection for Pacific peoples, and her frequent visits to our region throughout her reign."
"As the world’s longest-serving monarch, her consummate dignity and character, her resolute grace and calm through the 70 years at the helm of global history, have set a standard of leadership and stability many can only aspire to," Puna said.
He said Queen Elizabeth's impact was inter-generational and diverse.
"Such was her influence and visibility, that she was more known to people in the most remote reaches of our sea of islands, than our own national leaders! I know all parts of our Blue Pacific will be deeply saddened by this loss," he said.
"Across all coastlines of our ocean continent there are many who will join me in remembering a truly gracious and extraordinary Queen whose reign has paralleled our region’s development from colonial administrations to sovereign, self-governing, independent nations. Indeed, Her Majesty took a personal interest in the development of the Pacific Islands Forum, and through our close connection to the Commonwealth, maintained that abiding connection to the Pacific membership," Puna added.
In a statement, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said from an early age, Queen Elizabeth II d"emonstrated a profound sense of duty to her country and to the world that the next generation would inherit. She grew up in a world rocked by conflict and war, and in a radio address as a young princess, she reminded her generation that, 'when peace comes, it will be for us, the children of today, to make the world of tomorrow a better and happier place.”
During WWII, Queen Elizabeth joined the women’s branch of the British Army, making her the first woman of the royal family to be an active duty member of the British Armed Forces. In 1953, Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne. She promised to devote her whole life to service—and did just that, for the next seven decades.
"As the United Kingdom’s head of state, she was a steady and comforting presence to generations. On the global stage, Queen Elizabeth II was a source of calm and strength over decades of change for country and the world," Austin said.
The defense secretary said Queen Elizabeth "helped to fortify the alliance between our two great democracies, and with her steady leadership, the United Kingdom helped to build and maintain the rules-based international order, rooted in cooperation and democratic values."