As we observe this year’s Veterans Day with a ceremony honoring those who have risked their lives to protect our island and our nation from tyranny and oppression – we also must remember those who paid the ultimate price, the ultimate sacrifice.
Just a few days ago, I had the honor of meeting the family of Petty Officer 1st Class Ignacio Camacho Farfan who left home nearly 80 years ago and was only now able to return home. He and over 400 others were killed when the enemy fired torpedoes on the USS Oklahoma at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. He now rests in peace at the Guam Veterans Cemetery where he is surrounded by his friends and family.
Sadly, we also have learned of a young son of Guam, Sgt. Marcos Aguon from Talofofo, who passed away while serving in Korea. Our deepest condolences go out to his family.
On Veterans Day we honor people like Petty Officer 1st Class Farfan and Sgt. Aguon – men and women who answered the call to defend our nation and the freedoms and rights we enjoy today as Americans.
Let us give thanks to these sons and daughters of Guam and America who regularly leave behind their families and the comforts of home to serve in the vanguards, and stand watch over our nation.
They are the protectors of our peace and the freedoms enshrined in the Constitution. It is the price that our heroes pay that allows us the opportunity to exercise our rights to worship as Baptists, Catholics, or Buddhists … or not have a religion at all. Just recently, we were able to hold an election to vote for the island’s leadership - this God-given right is made available to us because of the men and women who don their uniforms and willingly carry the mantle of responsibility to keep our island and our nation safe.
I ask the community to join Christine and I in prayer for the men and women of the Guam National Guard who at this moment are preparing for deployment. They join thousands of others who are actively standing watch over us.
We pray for their safety and for the safety of all of our Veterans … whether they are serving at a distant desert, on a ship an ocean away, or staring down no-man’s land … we pray for all of those who are preparing and those who are training to serve; that they continue to stand with faith, courage and strength.
Un dangkolo na si Yu’us Ma’åse to them all. God bless us all, God bless Guam, and God bless the United States of America.