Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Commemorating the ‘heaven and hell’ of the Pacific War

Commemorating the ‘heaven and hell’ of the Pacific War

Heaven and Hell is the theme of this years’ Memorial Day (the U.S.equivalent of Anzac Day) to be commemorated at the U.S.Marines Memorial in Queen Elizabeth Park on Monday May 26 from 10am sharp to 11am.

U.S.Marine Veteran Dean Ladd, who visited Kapiti recently with six ‘marine brothers’ aged 89-93, sets the tone in his book: Faithful Warriors:

“No more mosquitoes or malaria, but instead plenty of fresh, cool water to drink, clean living conditions and excellent food. It would be like heaven,” he says.

“It was like going home again. The people were friendly and spoke our language with such a delightful accent. The typical invitation was, “Would you like to spend a few days with the family on the farm?”

The “hell” that was to follow, was the Battle of Tarawa, which many of the 23,000 U.S.Armed forces stationed in camps in Paekakariki and Porirua fought in between November 20-23 1943. The battle resulted in 1696 American and 4690 Japanese casualties and is regarded as one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific War.

Trust Chair Jenny Rowan says the recent visit of the six veterans is a timely reminder of the enduring friendships between Kiwi and American families over 72 years.

“Five young people who will perform in this years’ Paekakariki School kapahaka group are the moko (grandchildren) of “Auntie” Jean Andrews who provided significant support for the Marines stationed here. We will also have a young American student in the group and, it’s not coincidental that the school is situated on Tarawa Street in Paekakariki.

“This is also a reminder of the heavy toll the battle took on American and Japanese families and those close to them both in New Zealand and around the world.”

“We have all been intensely moved by the epic journey (half way around the world) these veterans have taken to recover the bodies of 25 of their brothers from Betio on Tarawa Atoll. However, 71 years later there are still almost 500 men ‘missing in action’ and yet to be repatriated.”*

“It’s now our job to pick up the baton, make sure these men are not forgotten,” she says.

The service will run be attended by Marines from the U.S.Embassy and a group who have recently been on detachment working with the New Zealand Defence forces at Waiouru.

A second Memorial service will also be held at Old St Pauls Cathedral in Mulgrave Street – starting at 12.30pm.

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Ombudsman’s Verdict On Paula Rebstock And Ian Rennie

Unfortunately, the brave and damning report by Ombudsman Ron Paterson on the “flawed” and “unfair” inquiry conducted by Dame Paula Rebstock into events at MFAT pulls back the veil on a far wider issue. More>>

ALSO:

Charities' Report: Stressed Families - Overstretched Services

“Like so many of the whānau and families they serve social service organisations are under huge financial stress. The support demanded from desperate people in communities is far outreaching the resources available.” More>>

ALSO:

Detention: Wellingtonians Protest Treatment Of Refugees

Peace Action Wellington (PAW) and around 50 Wellingtonians blockaded the Australian High Commission, creating a symbolic detention centre to protest the Australian Government's policy of mandatory offshore detention for refugees and asylum seekers. More>>

ALSO:

Diver's Alarums: Breach Means Training Provider Must Repay $1.47 Million

The New Zealand School of Outdoor Studies is to repay $1.47 million (GST-exclusive) to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) following an investigation which showed that some student enrolments between 2009 -2014 could not be validated and that courses were under-delivered against their agreement with the TEC. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Government Plans Suggest Bulk Funding Return

Plans by the Government to return to bulk funding are likely to see increased class sizes and schools most in need missing out on much-needed resources, Labour’s Acting Education spokesperson Grant Robertson says. More>>

ALSO:

Interim Report: Auckland Looks Long Term To Pay-Per-Km Road Pricing

Aucklanders can expect to be paying variable rates per kilometre to travel on the city's most congested roads under an emerging transport strategy being formulated by the government and the Auckland Council. More>>

ALSO:

Despite Promises: Government Extends Iraq Deployment

Cabinet has agreed to extend New Zealand’s contribution to the joint New Zealand-Australia mission to train Iraqi Security Forces until November 2018. More>>

ALSO:

On The 'Terrorism' Card:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news