Monday, December 12, 2011


Despite the rain, on a cool, breezy night, seventy years to the day that the Japanese occupied Guam on December 10, the National Park Service presented film footage of Guam before the war to a small crowd in the Plaza de España, where the surrender to the Japanese took place in 1941.

The footage was just a portion of what the Park Service has.  Some of it was in color.  The video was accompanied by recordings of Chamorros singing various songs in the 1940s.

The Kiosko in the Plaza  de España
 (band stand)

We don't do enough things in the Plaza de España.

It was somewhat surreal being in the Plaza last night; watching footage of the same Plaza seventy years ago.  Most of what surrounded the Plaza is gone, but at one point in the film we could see the kiosko on the screen and at the same time look to the left of the screen and see the actual structure.  Imagine all the things that happened in that Plaza over three hundred years.  If there was a historical heart of the Marianas, I think this would have to be it.

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