BY JOHN CHRISMA
THE World War II memorial at Bloody Ridge, east Honiara, continues to suffer regular vandalism, graffiti and other illegal activities.
It is therefore important to remind young people about its importance to our country’s history, according to Chris Marisi, a resident of the neighbouring New Zealand Camp community.
Marisi reminds settlers at the Bloody Ridge area, including nearby communities, to respect the Bloody Ridge WWII memorial, built in honor of all those who died in the war on Guadalcanal.
He said the monument signifies the Battle of Guadalcanal during the Second World War and it’s an important history for the country and people of Guadalcanal.
“It is sad to see locals who showed no respect to the area’s already remarkable WWII historical site,” Marisi, who is also from Malango ward, Central Guadalcanal, said.
“Locals should respect such WWII memorial on Guadalcanal because it’s an impressive site that can attract more international visitors, in particular tourists from US and Japan,” he added.
Bloody Ridge, or Edson’s Ridge, was fought over by Japanese and American troops during the Battle of Guadalcanal, which claimed nearly 40,000 lives.
In 2017, a plaque was installed during the previous commemorations to mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Guadalcanal during the Second World War.
However, in that particular year the plague was stolen and was later confiscated by police in Honiara.
Recently, a notice board in front of the bloody Ridge WWII memorial compound had been vandalized by drunkards, according to Marisi.
“More often during night times, the Bloody Ridge WWII memorial compound is a hot spot for youths and individuals congregating there to consume alcohol.
“The Bloody Ridge WWII memorial compound has not been fenced or provided with security guards so it’s prone to vandalism and other criminal acts,” he told Tourism Media.
The national government previously proposed to develop a WWII memorial park at Bloody Ridge after they declared the site “one of the most brutal battle grounds of World War Two on Guadalcanal.”
But to date, this has not been done.