By EDDIE OSIFELO
SOLOMON Islands and United States of America celebrated the 79th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal in Honiara last Saturday.
US Consular, Keithie Saunders read the speech of the United States Ambassador Her Excellency, Erin McKee, who was not present for the occasion.
“The United States and the Solomon Islands share an intimate history, forged in blood and mud on the hills of Bloody Ridge, on the surrounding seas, and on beaches and forests throughout this remarkable nation.
“Today we mark the 79th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal, one of the most significant events of World War Two. The events of those difficult days would prove to be the turning point in a conflict that engulfed the planet,” she said.
“It was here, a lifetime ago, that Americans, Solomon Islanders, and our Allies, developed a bond of mutual respect, under the most difficult circumstances imaginable.
“As the Guadalcanal hero John Basilone, would accede, “God doesn’t give the hardest battles to his toughest soldiers, he creates the toughest soldiers through life’s hardest battles.”
Ambassador McKee said those battles led to an extraordinary partnership between the United States and Solomon Islands that we look forward to expanding in the years ahead with the help of your Pacific neighbors.
“Today we remember the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and coast watchers who served. We remember their bravery, their suffering and sacrifice, and their ultimate victory in protection of democratic values.
“For decades, American engagement and partnerships here, and in the greater region, have protected our shared values of freedom, individual rights, goodwill, and mutual respect across the Indo-Pacific region,” she said.
Ambassador McKee said it remains a fundamental priority for the United States of America to enhance our regional partnerships so that the people of Solomon Islands benefit from an environment that promotes partnership, not rivalry; prosperity, not dependence; security, not domination; opportunity, not threats.