Sunday, August 31, 2014

Asan Beach (Memorial Park)

 

Hello! After a little more than a year hiatus I’m happy to say Mom is back, with another baby (literally, not figuratively… ) got pregnant and had my second little one here at the new Naval Hospital Guam. Just like to say for the military mothers-to-be that I had a wonderful experience there and I expect you will, too, and your room will have quite a view! Now I have a little more insight as a mother of two under two! There is a lot of catching up to do and lots of pictures to take of what I feel are some of the best places on the island. We’ll start again with a little history at Asan Beach.

War in the Pacific National Historical Park (Asan Beach)

The War in the Pacific National Historical Park is a protected area which was established in 1978 in honor of those who participated in the Pacific Theater of World War II. Various sites on the island of Guam are part of the Park. It is unique among the National Park System insofar as it honors the bravery and sacrifices of all those who participated in the Pacific Theater.

During World War II, Guam was captured by the Japanese forces in 1941 and liberated by the Americans in 1944. The park includes former battlefields, gun emplacements, trenches, caves, and historic structures.

The Park will also be featured on the Washington Quarter in 2019, as a part of the America the Beautiful Quarters Series. (Source: Wikipedia) .

Asan Beach

The park is also home to Asan Cave. To prepare for the expected invasion, the Japanese dug hundreds of caves using forced labor—mostly Chamorros and some Koreans. This cave was part of the fortifications of Asan Ridge.

A U.S. Marine approaches a concealed cave. The inset photo is of Asan Cave four days after the landing.

Similar caves and tunnels honeycombed the hills and ridges throughout Guam. Outnumbered and bombarded from above, the Japanese soldiers’ best protection was to go underground. After the Americans secured the beachheads, the battle became a deadly game of hide and seek.

Asan caves and tunnels are dangerously unstable, and are closed to the public by order of the Superintendent.

Old Bombs and Shells can Kill!

When you decide to visit this beautiful beach, or any uninhabited area on Guam, please be careful of unexploded ammunition, they can be deadly! They can still be found a anywhere on the island and in the waters offshore.

During the pre-assault bombardment in July 1944, tons of bombs and naval shells fell on Guam. After the battle, the Americans disposed of the ordinance in areas such as Camel Rock. Fifty years later, despite cleanup efforts, live ammo can still be found eroding from hillside caves and the ocean floor.

Also noteworthy, please do not collect shells, sand, rock, coral or sealife at the park. A 73 year old man was recently arrested (and released) for doing so.

Please check the website for any park alerts before going.

You can read a lot more history and information about the park on the website.

War in the Pacific National Historical Park (Asan Beach)

website: http://www.nps.gov/wapa/index.htm

phone: 671-333-4050

Admission: Free

Stroller accessible: Yes

Changing Table: unknown (haven’t been inside the restrooms)

Hours: Park Units: 24hours

Restrooms: 0700-1700

 

Edit: This is also a great place to fly a kite! I recommend going early in the morning when it isn’t too hot. Don’t forget the sunscreen!

 

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