Thousands of US, Australian and New Zealand Navy personnel as well as hundreds of war tourists are expected in Honiara next week for a range of events to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal.
It comes as a new memorial to honour the US Raiders’ Association was this week erected on Bloody Ridge – the famous WWII site which will officially become a national park next month.
The unveiling of the memorial – and the official national park announcement – are just two of many events planned for the five-day event. It will kick off on Saturday August 5 with a symposium at SINU involving family members of veterans who fought in battles in the Solomon Islands during WWII.
Commodore to the US Marine Corps and Four-Star General Robert Neller will be in Honiara for the five-day event, along with a US Destroyer, Australia’s HMAS Success and New Zealand’s Otago vessel.
All three vessels will travel to Savo Island on Tuesday August 8 for a ceremony to mark the Battle of Savo – what was a critical battle in the war – following the official national park announcement at Bloody Ridge and a ceremony at Henderson Field.
Other events include a service on Sunday morning (August 6) at Holy Cross cathedral, and sports events later in the day.
On the day of the anniversary, Monday August 7, a dawn memorial service will be held at the US War Memorial on Skyline hill, followed by a parade on Commonwealth Street and an event at the Yacht Club to honour Douglas Monroe, a young officer who died during the battle in Iron Bottom Sound.
Later a ground-breaking ceremony will take place on the future site of the Scouts and Coastwatchers Museum.
It will conclude on Wednesday with a ceremony to commemorate HMAS Canberra, the Australian vessel which sits on the sea floor of Iron Bottom Sound.
Listen to SIBC’s Distaem Nao program from 7am on Monday morning to hear more about what’s ahead.