Guam highway dedicated to marines

By Sunny Babauta
Variety News Staff

HAGÅTÑA — Wearing a bright orange vest and a white hard hat, Gov. Felix Camacho on Monday was hoisted up to the traffic light at the ITC intersection to unveil a sign for the island’s main road: Marine Corps Drive, formerly known as “Marine Drive.”
“The reason why we wanted to rename Marine Drive is because when people read the sign, they think it got its name because we’re on an island and the road is near the beach,” said Sen Mark Forbes who co-authored a bill that proposed the rededication of Marine Corps Drive. “We wanted to make it known that Marine Drive is named after the marines who liberated us from Japanese occupation.”

Sen. Bob Klitzkie earlier drafted Bill 214, which intended to rename the highway. But the bill never passed by the legislature prompting the governor to sign an executive order that officially renamed the highway.
“I am excited to unveil the sign to dedicate the marines who have fought for our country,” Camacho said, while wiping the sweat off his forehead.

Other road signs in the area were also renamed to honor marines. The governor was supposed to unveil the signs on Liberation Day but he said he thought Monday was an appropriate day because it was right after July 4. When the veterans visit the island for the Liberation festivities, they will be able to see the signs that honor them, he said.

Public Works director Joe Duenes said the department provided the signs and mounted them. The unveiling ceremony stirred emotions in former marine John Gerber. Gerber was also able to unveil one of the new green road signs. He said his hard work finally paid off.

In April, Gerber and his former fellow marines, walked the stretch of Marine Drive protesting the legislature’s failure to include Klitzie’s bill in its agenda.

"I’m so happy right now. When I was a child, marines were my heroes. When I enlisted in the Marine Corps Marines were my heroes. Now that I’m retired, marines are still my heroes,” he said.




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