August 7 – A Day to Remember – The Beginning of the Guadalcanal Campaign
Seventy one years ago this week, the first major offensive launched by the Allies against Japan in World War II took place on Guadalcanal from August 7, 1942, to February 9, 1943. The Guadalcanal campaign was the turning point of the Pacific war. The land, sea and air battles that lasted for more than six months are ever prevalent in the memories of the veterans. Memories etched in sacrifice blood and death remain a part of the lives of Airmen, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy Veterans who gave unselfishly of themselves in the many battles.
Many were high school students who enlisted on Dec. 8, 1942, the day after Pearl Harbor. We will never forget those who lost their lives, in battles on the ground or lost at sea. Others who did return home were injured and many suffered from Malaria. They went back to work or school not expecting any fanfare because “they had just done their job.” As one reads the obituaries of these aging veterans, you will see, for the most part, they continued to contribute unselfishly too many worthwhile endeavors. That is why we know they are “The Greatest Generation.”
The Guadalcanal Campaign Veterans (GCV] was organized to “Perpetuate the Spirit of Guadalcanal” exemplifying the highest tradition of voluntary military service in the defense of the United States of America.
The 2012 GCV reunion, honoring the 70th anniversary of the campaign, was held at the Sheraton Pentagon during the week of August 4, 2012. Gathered here are some of our heroes, their spouses, widows, sons, daughters, grandchildren, and members of the GCV. The Reunion Memorial was held at Arlington Cemetery on August 7, 2012.