John Kerry Pays Tribute to Guadalcanal Soldiers

The soldiers who fell during the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Second World War were recently honored by John Kerry, the United States Secretary of State. The Secretary of State was visiting Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, where he was speaking to thank them for their assistance of the Allies during the Second World War. During his trip, John Kerry made sure to stop by Guadalcanal’s American Memorial in order to pay his respects.

The Secretary of State went to the Solomon Islands after from Australia. He had been there with Chuck Hagel, the United States Defense Secretary, to discuss important matters regarding Iraq. Although there were security matters to be discussed that affect the present, that did not stop John Kerry from taking some time out of his schedule to honor the past. He took off to the Solomon Islands immediately following his duties in Australia, and thanked them for their assistance in the battles of the Pacific Theatre. There, they helped the United States to battle the Japanese, not long after the States were ushered into the war by the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Not only did he visit the American memorial, but he also visited the Bloody Ridge. This is the common name of a Guadalcanal battlefield that saw heavy losses by the Allies. The Battle of Guadalcanal, according to John Kerry, was the point at which the United States started to overtake the Japanese and win the war in the Pacific. He felt that this battle helped to strengthen the bond between the United States and the Solomon Islands, while spurring the Allies toward victory.

He was not just there to speak of past glories, but also of present issues. He acknowledged some of the current problems faced by the Solomon Islands in terms of climate change and other ecological concerns. John Kerry then referenced their future elections, stating his belief that the Solomon Islands may be on the verge of wrestling their way out of recent problems and changing for the better, the Yahoo News reports.

Not only did John Kerry bring a message of grateful remembrance for the past, but he also brought a message of hope for the future. Aside from environmental concerns, the Solomon Islands have also seen civil unrest for several years, with Australia working to bring peace to their nation for a total of ten years. While John Kerry mostly spoke of the past, and the help of Solomon Islanders in saving American soldiers during the Second World War (including future president JFK), he also spoke of the present and of the future, wishing to inspire hope in those who previously helped the Allies in a time when any and all help was readily accepted.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE