A 90-year-old World War II veteran who last came to the CNMI when he was just 19 during the Battle of Saipan is back on the islands, this time as a tourist aboard the cruise ship Crystal Serenity.
Lloyd Glick, who is visiting Saipan with his wife, Judy, was warmly welcomed to the island with a presentation of the American flag and a medallion at the American Memorial Park yesterday morning.
Chief ranger Jason Beatty presented Glick with the flag and a certificate of recognition, while the medallion was presented by Veterans Affairs Office director Vicente Camacho. Walt F.J. Goodridge, a writer, gave Glick a special surprise—Glick’s autobiography.
The flag that was given was flown on June 15, 2004, at the time of then-governor Juan N. Babauta. The medallion is in recognition and appreciation of veterans who served during the war; it features the WWII War in the Pacific emblem on the front side and the official seals of the branches of service on the other.
Glick, a modest man, said he doesn’t deserve the medallion and that, if he could, he would give it to his fellow fallen soldiers.
Glick’s first visit to this part of the world was back in World War II aboard the USS North Carolina, where he was a member of the ship’s band as a musician second class, playing the trumpet. The USS North Carolina participated in the bombings of Saipan, Palau, Pohnpei, the Marshall Islands, and other islands in the region.
“About 12 miles out from Saipan, we used 16-inch guns and participated for several days by bombing the island and clearing out the land,” said Glick.
After 71 years, Glick is happy to return to Saipan with his wife. “I am overwhelmed by the warmth and reception” that he was given after the presentations and award ceremony.
Crystal Serenity arrived on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. It just came from Guam and is now on its way to Japan.
Glick and his wife toured the island, viewing World War II historical sites, and left later at noon of that day. (Jayson Camacho)