Congressional delegation visits solemn Asan Overlook
As part their last stop in the territories, a congressional delegation from the Natural Resources Committee make their way to Guam meeting with island leaders and military officials while also paying their respects for those lost during the war.
It's their last stop for the territories, and what better way to end their tour than here on Guam. "Since we're going to be dealing with all those issues as the time goes on we wanted to make sure we had a first-hand view of what's taking place in the territories," noted Utah Congressman Rob Bishop. He says is it was a view like no other.
Not only did the Natural Resources Committee Chairman and a visiting Congressional Delegation get to view the seaside villages above the Asan Bay Overlook, but they also were given a perspective of the issues facing Guam through face-to-face meetings with Guam leaders and military officials today.
"Every stop along the way has been fascinating for us because of the kindness and hospitality shown to us," he added. "But also every territory, every island is a little different, the people are different, they're all wonderful and beautiful people but each has a special spirit on their own which is truly unique."
Congressman Bishop says part of the dialogue involves workforce, public lands, and expanding the economy. He adds every part of the United States has an issue with H2-b visas, but Guam he admits has special circumstances. "It is your issues especially here on Guam because you're so far away from the mainland and so much closer to Asia has a unique twist to it that you won't find in Utah or to be honest most of those issues come from the south America and Latin America," he stated.
Meanwhile, Acting Governor Ray Tenorio used the visit to let the delegation know about the importance of representation and voting not only for president but also in Washington, DC. "A vote from a representation for any United States citizen who has a delegate, senator, congressman or congresswoman in our congress should have the ability to have that vote that was given to them passed on to the rest of our country and representation," Tenorio proclaimed.
For former senator and Guam War Survivors Foundation president Frank Blas, Jr., he took this opportunity to address the codel about the war reparations for our war survivors. Fittingly enough he did so at the site of the Asan Bay Overlook Memorial Wall, where over 1,800 names are of those who died and suffered atrocities of the war.
"I stand here on behalf of my father and behalf of war survivors and say thank you for your continued efforts, but it's not done yet," he shared. "We'll never forget what they went through and we'll never stop until that honor is given to them."
As they participate in a wreath-laying ceremony, Congressman Bishop says it's an issue that's come before his committee many times, saying, "The Senate has been a stumbling block and to be honest the senate may still be a stumbling block in the future as well, but we'll address that one more time."
Guam Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo says this one of the first codel for New Year, adding the visit was at the request of Congressman Bishop. They depart Guam on Saturday.
Part of the CODEL include Chairman Bishop, American Samoa Delegate Amata Radewagen, chairman of Subcommittee on Health and Technology for Small Business; CNMI Delegate Gregorio Sablan; Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Conzalez, Arkansas Representative Bruce Westerman from the Natural Resource, Budget and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and Pennsylvania Representative Glenn Thompson, Chairman for the Subcommittee on Conservation and Forestry for Agriculture.