His Excellency President Lionel Aingimea officially unveiled the new World War II memorial for Nauruans that perished on Truk and Nauru, 10 July.
President Aingimea says the monument is a tribute to the generation of World War II.
“It symbolises the hardship, the struggle, the threatening of our fragile population, the leadership, the determination, the stories of heroes and heroines that have been passed through generations and the remembrance that we as a nation will never forget.”
The plaque reads: 𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘔𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘳𝘪𝘢𝘭 𝘔𝘰𝘯𝘶𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘥𝘦𝘥𝘪𝘤𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘰𝘯𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘕𝘢𝘶𝘳𝘶𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘪𝘭𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘛𝘳𝘶𝘬 𝘣𝘶𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯, 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘥, 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘢𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯 𝘕𝘢𝘰𝘦𝘳𝘰 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘴𝘩𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘴 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘞𝘢𝘳, 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘴𝘶𝘧𝘧𝘦𝘳𝘦𝘥 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘓𝘦𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘺 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘬𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘨𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘶𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘪𝘴𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘕𝘢𝘰𝘦𝘳𝘰 𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘞𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘞𝘢𝘳 𝘐𝘐.
The names of over 1,200 Nauruans and foreigners who died on Nauru and Truk are inscribed in marble granite and embedded into the Nauru phosphate rock wall.
“It is a monument which captures the names of our loved ones who made the ultimate sacrifice. It also includes those who survived the War and those who fought for freedom. We are blessed to have them amidst us today. It is their legacy and sacrifices that inspire us, so that we can live in peace and prosperity today,” the President said.
A special message by the President of the Federated States of Micronesia David Panuelo was also screened; paying tribute to Nauruans, the struggles and loss of life during wartime.
The monument is a redesign of the former, that was erected a hundred metres away, but now demolished to make way for the redevelopment of the main sea port.T
he date for the unveiling of this new memorial was selected as 11 July, in memory of the 39 Nauruan lepers who, on 11 July 1943, were towed out to sea and killed during the Japanese occupation of Nauru.
As the date falls on a Sunday this year, the official ceremony was moved to 10 July.
The ceremony was dominated by heavy rain but continued unabated.
President Aingimea and Madam Aingimea laid the first wreath at the foot of the middle arch where stands the glass enclosure that holds soil from the leper station in Meneñ, soil from Truk and shrapnel from the American B25 Coral Princess aircraft that was shot down over Nauru in 1944.
The first day cover and stamp for the occasion were also released by Deputy Minister for Nauru Post Richard-Hyde Menke.
The names on the monument are replicated from official records taken at the end of the war and the return from Truk.