16 Jul 2002

US WWII veterans to honour Solomon Islanders

5:42 pm on 16 July 2002

American veterans of World War Two's Guadalcanal campaign are to present a medal acknowledging the contribution of Solomon Islanders to the war effort.

Next month is the 60th anniversary of the start of the battle, and there will be ceremonies on Guadalcanal involving both Japanese and American veterans of the war.

One veteran, Bill Fisher, says it may be the last opportunity they get to acknowledge the help they received from the people of Guadalancal.

"So the national marine corps league has decided to present to Sir Gideon Zoloveke, the titular head of the Solomon Islands veterans and a 93 year old man, this distinguished services award as being representatitive of all those comrades of his. And we have reason to believe we may also have a certificate from the President of the United States, for someone else in the government office."

Bill Fisher, who with a local businessman, John Innes, is trying to develop a military heritage trail as a way of commemorating the dead, and giving Solomon Islands a tourism boost.