TUMON, Guam, October 3, 2006 – Guam offers visitors a treasure trove of
military history along with lush natural beauty and rich Chamorro
traditions. The essence of Guam’s military past and its unique tropical
ecosystem can be experienced at its two U.S. National Parks: the War in the
Pacific National Historic Park and the Guam National Wildlife Refuge.
War in the Pacific National Historic Park
Just days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces landed on Guam
and occupied it until U.S. forces re-captured it in 1944. The War in the
Pacific National Historic Park commemorates the bravery and sacrifice of the
soldiers and the Guam residents who lost their lives during the war.
The park is comprised of seven historically significant sites on the island
and a total of 1,000 offshore acres of ocean where submerged WWII military
vessels and artifacts rest on the ocean floor. The remains of caves,
Japanese fortifications, pillboxes, and gun emplacements stand throughout
the park as silent reminders of the fierce battles that took place on the
Must see attractions at the War in the Pacific National Historical Park
include several memorials to those who died or suffered during the Japanese
occupation of the island and the ensuing battle for liberation. A memorial
wall at Asan Bay Overlook bears 16,142 names which include the American
soldiers who died on Guam and the names of Chamorros who suffered the
hardships of war through injury, forced labor, and internment.
There is also the Sons of Guam Pearl Harbor Memorial. This memorial honors
the Chamorro men who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In addition, Liberator’s Memorial commemorates the 50th anniversary of the
Liberation of Guam. This monument honors the armed forces that participated
in the 1944 landing on Guam.
For scuba and snorkeling enthusiasts, the park’s waters contain over 3,500
marine species and 200 species of coral, including the endangered hawksbill
sea turtle and the threatened green sea turtle.
The park’s attractions are open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. For information
about the War in the Pacific National Historic Park, call (671) 477-7278
Guam National Wildlife Refuge
Established in 1993 by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Guam National
Wildlife Refuge provides an essential habitat for the regeneration of native
plants and animals, including the restoration of native forests for the
reintroduction of Guam’s native birds and the conservation of Guam’s fragile
coral reef resources. The ultimate mission of the preserve is to bring
back the indigenous plants, fish and wildlife of Guam that sustained the
early Chamorro people of Litekjan, the ancient village which once stood
where the refuge is now located. A large Chamorro settlement thrived on
this site some 600 years before the Spanish arrived in 1521.
Located on the northwest corner of the island, in the military-owned area
now called Ritidian Unit, this unique refuge is a combination of expansive
beaches, native limestone forests, coral reefs dense with marine life,
towering limestone cliffs, as well as caves with ancient pictographs and
other archaeological resources.
The refuge provides habitat for the last remaining populations of the
Mariana fruit bat, and Mariana crow. It also protects the Serianthes
nelsonii tree, one of the largest native trees in the Mariana Islands which
cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Hundreds of fish species are
found in the 401 acres of refuge reefs, including vibrantly colored
anemonefishes, damselfishes, spinecheeks, and butterflyfishes.
Visitors to Guam are welcome to participate in natural and cultural history
programs led by National Fish and Wildlife Service staff. The Guam National
Wildlife Refuge is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday
through Sunday, except holidays. Admittance is free of charge.
Situated in the Western Pacific, Guam is known as the gateway to Micronesia
and provides a range of exciting activities that are complementary to its
closest island neighbors. A trip to Guam can encompass many activities,
including diving in the Marianas Trench, the deepest water in the world;
snorkeling in amazingly diverse coral reef areas; jungle trekking to
secluded beaches, historic sites and pristine waterfalls; sea kayaking the
coast and swimming with the dolphins and experiencing the rich Chamorro
culture and warm hospitality that is distinctly Guam. Guam also offers
top-level golf courses designed by golfing greats such as Jack Nicklaus,
Gary Player, and Sam Snead. The island also has a pleasing selection of
Asian, European and Chamorro-influenced dining establishments, luxury
resorts and moderately priced hotels.
To learn more about Guam visit http://www.visitguam.org.
For more on Guam at ITKT