Guamanians celebrate Liberation Day on the coast

BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) – People from across the country stopped in Harrison County to celebrate the liberation of Guam.

The celebration was organized by Guamanians who live in Mississippi. Other Guamanians traveled from different states to join the party.

On July 2, 1944, the island was liberated by US armed forces from the Japanese during World War II. Vincent Mantanona and his family drove up from Texas to attend the community event.

“We are a melting pot of the Pacific and as I said, we are very grateful to the soldiers who liberated us in 1944,” Mantanona said.

The liberation means more than just a moment of celebration for Guamanians, it is also a moment to remember those who have endured difficult times.

Pete Flores, it’s an honor to keep the tradition of celebrating Liberation Day going because it’s a way for him to remember his father.

“My father was a survivor from the island of Guam in 1944, he and his family were in concentration camps, when he was nine years old. One of the jobs because he refused to learn the Japanese language, he had to clean the weeds in the concentration camps,” Flores said.

The celebration also included traditional dishes and performances by the 671 Bonitas.

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