Sunday, September 16, 2007

Celebrating 62 years of freedom

For the remaining few who survived the World War 11 and who are still living in Angaur State, celebrating the anniversary each October is an additional blessing.
Angaur State governor Horace N. Rafael said that less than 20 survivors remained, and four of them were actually born in the caves during the two war-torn months between the Japanese forces and the American troops.

The 62nd Liberation day was supposed to have been on the 8th and 9th of October but due to unfavorable weather conditions, Rafael said they had to postpone it twice, until it finally pushed through last Saturday.

Representatives of the survivors joined the festivities and narrated their ordeal hiding in the caves during the war.
“Angaur is the only State in Palau which was not totally abandoned. The residents of other states left their homes and fled to Babeldaob,” Rafael said. He added that the residents of Angaur hid in the caves with the Japanese, and were only forced to come out prompted by hunger and thirst.
“My father, who was about five years old that time was among those who hid in the caves, and he remembered a lot of the hardships they went through,” Rafael said.

As in the past years, Rafael provided free lunch for all the guests.
The event, held at the Angaur Elementary School was well attended by visitors, including Vice president Elias Camsek Chen, the newly-installed US Airforce and Angaur residents who came home for the occasion.

Rafael said the day’s activities covered games for all- from the elementary to the high school students, both male and female categories, including kicking ball, tire race, jumping rope, climbing pole, kangaroo race, get-back race, hunting for mechas, rubak and for things, fishing contest, bottle race, spear contest, relays and 25, 50 ,100, 200 and 400-meter dash, mix vegetables, musical chair and more games. Capping off the celebration was a night of feasting on sumptuous island delicacies and favorite dishes pitched in by the residents and partying that lasted until the morning hours.

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