Ombre Ga’chong: Read about our past so you can better appreciate our future

Lee Webber

By Lee Webber

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

The quote is normally attributed to writer and philosopher George Santayana and in its original form read, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” 

With all of the ongoing discussion regarding the new missile defense system, the major shift in the world economy during the last 45 years, the completion of Marine Corps Base Camp Blaz, the ongoing expansion of existing Naval and Air Force facilities, I thought it a good idea for us all to take a better look, a more intelligent look, at the past.

As Santayana noted above, if you do not have a clear understanding of the past as you plan for the future you are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

Don A. Farrell, a longtime friend and resident of Guam and great regional historian has worked to provide the type of background we can all use to better understand from whence we came in order to help as we plan for where we are going.

Please take the time to pick up a  copy of Tinian and The Bomb, the story of how and why Tinian was chosen to be the Launchpad of nuclear war, and what actually happened on Tinian as scientists in poorly fitting Army uniforms assembled the two atomic bombs at North Field, Tinian, under combat conditions, you can buy the book at

Micronesian Productions has also just reprinted Liberation-1944, the fully illustrated classic story of what happened to the Chamorros during the Japanese occupation and the American recapture of the island in July and August 1944. The new printing has an embossed hardboard cover, as well as a similarly printed dust cover. In 196 pages with well over 300 photographs and illustrations, Liberation-1944 has become a classic hard-bound book describing the events that developed between December 8, 1941 and August 10, 1944. You can buy the book at:

There still are a few copies of Saipan, A Brief History, available for sale. This 114-page, award winning booklet, gives a brief history of Saipan, Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands from Marianas prehistory (black and white photos) to modern times (full color), closing with a full-color photo of Emperor Akihito and his wife greeting Japanese elders at Banzai Cliff, northern Saipan. You can buy the book at:

Copies of all three books are available at Jeff’s Pirates Cove, the War in the Pacific Park Visitors Center, and Bestseller Books on Guam, as well as American Memorial Park on Saipan. All three are available online from the University of Guam Press at For signed copies with inscriptions, go to

Our critical geographic importance, and that of Micronesia as a whole has not changed since man began sailing the seas. Our region remains and will likely remain of critical importance to major nations in the Indo-Pacific area as well as worldwide.

Readers should stay tuned for Seabees and Superforts at War, due to be released in December 2023.

History portends the future. Take the time to read about our region so you can better understand our future.



Lee P. Webber is a businessman and civic advocate, the former publisher of the Pacific Daily News, a former president and publisher of the Honolulu Advertiser, and a former director of operations for USA Today International/Asia


  • I am all for avoiding past mistakes, but have neither the time nor inclination to read the books you suggested.

    Since you’re knowledgable, why not simply write about past mistakes and how to avoid similar ones in the future?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *