Dear petition signers and veterans:
As Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, I would like thank the over eight thousand signors to the “Keep Guadalcanal’s Henderson Field Airport Name” petition for taking the time to express their feelings about this important issue.
On July 10th, Solomon Island resident, and Guadalcanal WWII historian, Mr. John Innes delivered your petition to my office on behalf of www.pacificwrecks.com This petition included the signatures of over 8,000 signors, and the print out made up hundreds of printed pages. This copy was accepted, and will remain in the government archives, for access by future generations.
I had already resolved that there would be no name change when the original name change suggestion was made. It was heartening though to see so many people supporting my stance. Thank you so much for your support.
Here in the Solomons, opinions were unanimous regarding this issue. Letters to the editor in our national newspaper, “The Solomon Star”, were unanimous in wanting to retain the name “Henderson”. The premiere of Guadalcanal Province also wrote me a letter, strongly urging retention of the name ‘Henderson’.
The voices of the people of the Solomon Islands, and the thousands of signors to your petition and my Government are in agreement on this issue. I can assure you, that the name “Henderson” will be retained.
We in the Solomons Islands are aware of the WWII heritage all around us. We are especially respectful of the feelings of the US and Solomon Island veterans who served in our country during the Second World War. We are also aware that the struggle for the airfield was not just an American fight. Solomon Islanders fought alongside their American friends sharing many tribulations and hardships until the struggle for Henderson was finally won.
As a result of those shared hardships a special bond exists between Americans and Solomon Islanders. We therefore would be especially delighted if you could visit us here in the Solomons. Come and see Henderson and the battlefields where the ‘greatest generation’ fought.
Tagio too mus and ‘Semper Fi’.
Sir Allan Kemakeza