75th Anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal honored

| August 11, 2017 | 0 Comments
The delegation from U.S. Army Pacific salutes after laying a wreath during the 75th Anniversary of the Battle for Guadalcanal ceremony at the U.S. Memorial Skyline Hill at Honiara, Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, on Aug. 7, 2017. About 7,100 Allied lives were lost during the longest campaign Pacific during World War II. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

The delegation from U.S. Army Pacific salutes after laying a wreath during the 75th Anniversary of the Battle for Guadalcanal ceremony at the U.S. Memorial Skyline Hill at Honiara, Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, on Aug. 7, 2017. About 7,100 Allied lives were lost during the longest campaign Pacific during World War II. (U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Armando R. Limon, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division)

Story and photos by
Staff Sgt. Armando Limon
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs
25th Infantry Division

GUADALCANAL, Solomon Islands — It had been 75 years since Soldiers from the U.S. Army stepped on the shores of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands during the Second World War.

More than 29,000 Soldiers fought along the shoreline, the hills and the damp, malaria-ridden jungles, where the island lies just below the equator.

The two Army divisions that fought there, the “Americal” Division and 25th Infantry Division, suffered 550 killed and 1,289 wounded during the campaign that lasted from August 1942 to February 1943.

The service members from all branches, including the Coast Guard, were honored in a ceremony for their deeds, at the U.S. Memorial Skyline Hill, which was once a battle site during the war.

Representing the Army from U.S. Army Forces Pacific was Maj. Gen. Charles Flynn, Col. Robert Ryan, Command Sgt. Maj. Alan Michaud, Sgt. 1st Class Benjamin Garcia, and Spc. Hazen D. Ham.

“Today, we remember the many Soldiers who lost their lives in the Battle of Guadalcanal, and the surrounding islands Tulagi and Savo,” said Honorable Manasseh Sogavare, the prime minister of the Solomon Islands. “These men fought with much bravery, however, in the harsh jungles of Guadalcanal.”

The Honorable Catherine Gray, the U.S. Ambassador to the Solomon Islands, spoke about her father who served in the Navy aboard the USS Santa Claire in the Pacific.

“He and my mother inspired me to purse diplomacy, and to reflect on the important legacy on the brave men and women who fought here on Guadalcanal,” said Gray. “A partnership, a legacy, and a lifetime of peace here in the Pacific and the partnership on the Solomon Islands. Not just for those here who fought as Allies, but now a partnership that now extends to those who fought here as enemies.”

She added, “Together through diplomacy and trade, a shared knowledge of the horror, the suffering of war, we have formed a bond now built on freedom, peace and prosperity of these islands.”

The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert B. Neller, also gave remarks during the ceremony, describing the Allied effort as “truly a joint combined effort.”

“Very similar to what we use today to try to maintain peace and rule of law in the world,” Neller said. “I find it interesting that this whole campaign was launched from Noumea, New Caledonia, where we received great support from our French allies.

“I very much appreciated the fact that our Japanese friends are here today,” he continued. “They fought with bravery and courage, also, and we honor their dead. I think what a nation must do at the end of a war is, one, welcome their veteran’s home, and two, memorialize and honor their sacrifices.”

Wreaths were laid by the people and government of the Solomon Islands, U.S. and Allied services, families and friends, to commemorate those who gave all on this holy ground during that terrible war.

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Category: Army News Service, DVIDS, Leadership, News, Observances

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