2017 Guam Liberation Day Celebration held at Ogletree Gap

By MALACHI MUNCY

Cove Leader-Press

 

On Saturday at Ogletree Gap, more than a thousand  people came together from across the state and beyond to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of Guam’s liberation from Japanese forces during WWII. 

The pavilion was packed with potluck dishes, performers and spectators. Ogletree Gap’s fields were filled with cars, canopies and the smell of barbecue. The event was sponsored by the Chamorro Association of Central Texas.

“A lot of the people here are military families,” said Joe Ada, CACT president. “Many who have left the island never get to make it back home so this event provides an opportunity for them to get together with relatives and friends and the weather in this area is sort of like of the Island.”

Patrick Sublan came all the way from Houston to celebrate and operate a booth, selling his island inspired art printed on rash guards.

“I saw kids practicing Jiu Jitsu in t-shirts and thought I could provide something safer that also represents they are from,” said Sublan, an Army Veteran. “We go to the celebrations in San Antonio and Dallas but this one is special to us. I heard about it through my military community.”

There were a total of eight Island themed vendors. 

The program schedule went from 11a.m. to 5 p.m. and culminated with four performance troupes performing traditional dances. 

“Intenon Famagu’on Guahan is comprised of about 40 performers ranging in from age 3 to 57,” said Alyssa Lefever, lead instructor for the troupe IFG. “The Chomorro people are strong people, proud people and we work hard to show our identity.”

Lefever has been involved with the Liberation Day celebration in Cove since 2007 but missed the last two years due to a military related move. 

“It’s really good to be back,” she said. “It always seems to be growing.”

In addition to door prizes and CACT raffles, American Legion Post 573 was raffling a 2017 Toyota Tundra to support local veteran agencies. The drawing for that truck will occur on Veteran’s Day, November 11. Tickets can still be purchased for the raffle at Toyota of Killeen. 

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