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Guam's Historical Significance

Guam is strategically located in the Pacific and has long been home and a port-of-call to many Sailors and Marines. Additionally, numerous naval operations have been supported from this United States territory.  The most notable is Operation New Life, which included the care and administration of Vietnamese refugees in Guam that were evacuated from Saigon in the closing days of the Vietnam War. More than 111,000 of the 130,000 evacuated Vietnamese refugees were transported to Guam. The greater majority of these refugees resettled in the United States and became citizens, today with thriving businesses and families.  Guam is known as the “Ellis Island of the Pacific” as a result of this operation and the other refugees who entered the United States from this territory. This statue serves as a reminder of the historic and lasting relationship those refugees, including generations of Vietnamese-Americans, have with members of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, who rescued thousands at sea, and built infrastructure on Guam. 

A Site to Remember

Ricardo J. Bordallo Governor's Complex is an ideal location for the statue as it is open to the public, overlooks beaches where refugee camps were established, remains well-kept by groundskeepers, has ample security, and oversees the water – as a Lone Sailor should. 

 Although people will come and go from this statue, the Lone Sailor will continue to serve as a universal sign of respect towards Sea Service personnel for generations to come.

How Can I Help?

The United States Navy Memorial held a celebration event on April 30th, 2019, in honor of the Lone Sailor statue placed on Guam.

April 30th marks the anniversary of Operation New Life, when more than 110,000 thousand Vietnamese refugees passed through Guam in 1975. During this historical event, members of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard, rescued thousands at sea and built infrastructure on Guam.

Fundraising efforts for the statue are still underway and being managed by the U.S. Navy Memorial. The memorial has a fundraising goal is $300,000 to cover the cost of casting and transporting along with corresponding ceremonies.

By supporting the mission in Guam today, you will ensure a legacy for generations to come!

If you have already made a donation towards a plaque or a brick, please fill out this inscription form.

Questions? Contact Brenda Osuch at bosuch@navymemorial.org or (202) 380.0714