Legacy Beyond Faces shares the stories of more than 20 survivors, many written by their descendants. It also includes interpretive essays and reflections from local scholars and musicians on Chamorro identity and music, and features tributes to musical families, who descended from war survivors. It is a beautiful collection of stories and photos that work together to capture the very distinct musical legacy of the war.
The Guam War Survivors Memorial Foundation was formed to tell the stories of Guam’s World War II generation. Its members felt an urgent need to capture these stories before they were lost. While these books are a collection of short stories, it is the hope and intention of the foundation that these stories will grow beyond the pages of this trilogy. That they will inspire the kinds of epiphanies that open minds, heal wounds, and bring families closer together.
These books teach us that just as war is never simply something that happens in the present, neither is peace. In sharing their stories, one thing most war survivors commonly say is that they do not want their children, or their children's children to ever know the horrors of war. Many of them have died since they shared their stories, and many more died before they ever could. They may not have found the peace they sought, but we can. May their legacy inspire lasting peace in our community for generations to come.
Originally published in Pacific Island Times, May 2017