Dear Editor:

World War II, 1931 – 1945, was the largest and most violent armed conflict in the history of mankind.  Historians today consider the war the most significant event of the 20th Century.  More than a half-century now separates us from that conflict and time has exacted its toll on the nation’s collective knowledge of this struggle and its worldwide implications.  Several generations of Americans have now grown to maturity largely unaware of the impact of this war that, more than any other war united Americans as a people and transformed American society resulting in the nation we live in today. 

To commemorate the Battle for Guadalcanal, a crucial World War II battle fought 70 years ago in the Pacific, Brookdale Community College’s Center for World War II Studies and Conflict Resolution will conduct a free program featuring several veterans of the battle on Saturday, October 13th starting at 10am in the College’s Warner Student Life Center.  The battle was the first real test of land strength between the militaries of Imperial Japan and the U.S. and proved to be a major turning point in World War II. The veterans of Guadalcanal walk a little slower these days and you may have to speak louder when talking to them.  Time has taken and is taking its toll but when they were young, they did something no other generation within any country can claim – they saved the world.  They did so not for glory or honor, not for lasting tributes on a printed page but simply because it had to be done.  It fell to these Americans to save the world from the unspeakable horrors of global fascist domination and this they did.

We need to take a long, loving look at these veterans while we still have a chance and Brookdale therefore invites all to come to the 70th Anniversary of the Battle for Guadalcanal Commemoration.  It would give everyone who comes a chance to talk with a Guadalcanal veteran, give him a hug, shake his hand and say “thank you.”

 

Paul Zigo

Associate Professor of History

Director, Center for World War II Studies and Conflict Resolution

Brookdale Community College