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thedrifter
07-06-07, 07:46 AM
Guam War Memorial Brass Panels Stolen

Jul 6, 1:45 AM (ET)


HAGATNA, Guam (AP) - Thieves stole dozens of brass panels from a World War II memorial that were etched with the names of thousands of Guam residents and U.S. military members tortured or killed during the war, officials said Thursday.

Thirty-four of the 99 panels at the Asan Bay Overlook in the War of the Pacific National Park have been pried off their concrete base.

"These thieves did more than commit a despicable crime, they dishonored our people who suffered and died in the struggle for the freedoms we all enjoy today," acting Gov. Mike Cruz said.

The memorial wall features the names of more than 16,000 Chamorros, the indigenous people of Guam, who were tortured or killed during the Japanese occupation of the island. It also honors more than 2,500 U.S. servicemen who died in Guam's liberation.

Rose San Nicolas Manibusan, a National Park Service official whose grandmother's name was on one of the stolen panels, said seeing the magnitude of the damage was painful.

"It's just unbelievable that anyone would steal things that honor the war dead, and it's a shame that there are some individuals out there who have no respect for the dead," she said.

Guam has seen an outbreak of metal thefts as thieves seek to cash in on the skyrocketing price of metal by stealing and selling it as scrap.

The war memorial theft comes weeks before the 63rd anniversary of Guam's liberation from Japanese occupation on July 21.

Survivors of the occupation, which began days after the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor, say they and their families endured beatings, forced labor, beheadings, rapes and other atrocities. Some were targeted for hiding U.S. troops.

Guam is a U.S. territory 3,700 miles southwest of Hawaii.

Ellie

thedrifter
07-08-07, 09:05 AM
Guam police arrest suspect in memorial theft <br />
The Associated Press <br />
Posted : Saturday Jul 7, 2007 8:17:44 EDT <br />
<br />
HAGATNA, Guam — Guam police on Friday arrested a 24-year-old man on suspicion he stole...