UNITED States Secretary of State John Kerry has paid tribute to Coastwatchers and US Marines who fought and lost their lives during the Second World War here.
“If it hasn’t been for the coastwatchers and the scouts, we would be bastards in ten minutes,” Mr Kerry said during a wreath laying ceremony at the Solomon Islands Scouts and Coastwatchers memorial in Honiara yesterday.
“That’s because they gave them invaluable information, and the stunning bravery of those first marine divisions who have stormed the shores here… and against all odds won first major offensive for the allies in the Pacific right here (Guadalcanal).
“This is where the difference began to be made,” Mr Kerry, who was in Honiara for just over three hours, said.
He said this is a time to remember the bravery and courage of these people who have put their lives on the line and today people only try to tell their stories.
Senator Kerry said he was glad to meet a couple of generations of the coastwatchers and one of the last living coastwatchers at the Coastwatchers monument at Point Cruz’s Commonwealth Street.
Meanwhile, he thanked the coastwatchers on behave of President Barak Obama.
He made reference to the bravery of two Coastwatchers Biuku Gasa and Eroni Kumana who have saved the lives of former US president JF Kennedy.
He said JF Kennedy never forgot the heroism of the two Solomon Islanders and he kept that coconut husk on his desk during his time as President.
Mr Kerry said the bond between the two nations remain stronger than ever because it begins right here on the 7th of August 1942.
“The United States and Solomon islands are now working together to dispose WWII unexploded ordinances, combating climate change, conserving the Oceans, managing the fisheries sustainably.”
Mr Kerry thanked all Solomon Islands partners for their support in relocating and retrieving remains of Second WW US marines and soldiers.
By DANIEL NAMOSUAIA