Seventy-five years ago, my grandparents and many of the elders who shaped whom I’ve become today were thrust into a war not of their making. They were left defenseless to an invading force that the United States knew was coming. And they were not warned or prepared for what would follow — two-and-a-half years of hunger, fear, suffering and extreme loss.
Nearly 1,200 Chamorros died during the war and nearly 15,000 survived, many haunted by that trauma for the rest of their lives. Today, less than 10 percent of them remain. How terribly sad it is that, almost eight decades since the war ended, they are finally being given reparations. But not from the U.S. government, which was obligated through its own treaty with Japan to pay the reparations, but rather from their own government.
The government of Guam will be paying for war reparations with one of its major sources of annual revenue, Section 30 Funds.