Wednesday, March 14, 2007

South West Pacific Campaign Memorial

The South West Pacific Campaign Memorial is located on the Adelaide Street side of ANZAC Square. The memorial was unveiled on 29 August 1992 as a tribute from the Brisbane City Council. The unveiling coincided with the 50th Anniversary year of the Milne Bay and Kokoda Campaigns. Created by Artbusters, the statues of the memorial have been cast in bronze. It also includes a granite plinth, mosaic and brass infill.

The Kokoda Trail campaign was part of the Pacific War of World War II. The campaign consisted of a series of battles fought from July 1942 to January 1943 between Japanese and Allied forces in what was then the Australian territory of New Guinea. The memorial depicts a wounded Australian soldier descending the Kokoda Trail assisted by a strong dependable Papua New Guinean leading him to safety. They are being passed by a fresh, determined soldier, resolute in the task ahead.

Australian allies fighting in this battle did an amazing job of defending the trail, as did the Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels supporting them. 6000 Australian lives were lost in the campaign. With the Kokoda, and subsequent New Guinea campaigns, this was the first time that Australia's security had been threatened directly. In Australia for many years there was strong resentment towards the Japanese over the War, however, as time has passed today we share strong economic and friendly ties. Even this week, we had both Australian and Japanese prime ministers outlining a Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation. We should move forward, but We Will Remember Them.

Cheers, I Love Brisbane, Wes.

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