Schools participating in person include, Kundu International Academy and Jubilee Catholic Secondary School.
Schools participating virtually via the American Corner FB page were:
- Sogeri National School of Excellence
- St Charles Lwanga Secondary
- Marianville Secondary School
- Port Moresby National School of Excellence
The event began with the viewing of two documentaries during WWII about the Red Arrow. They were the 32nd Infantry Wisconsin's Red Arrow Division WWII and the Battle of New Guinea.
In brief, the United States 32nd Infantry Division was formed from the Army National Guard units from Wisconsin. It then became known as the Red Arrow Division. The New Guinea campaign was said to be one of the hardest-fought of World War II. American and Australian forces relied on native New Guineans to achieve victory.
This presentation was then followed by remarks from guest of honor U.S. Charge' d'Affaires Joe Zadrozny who addressed the students both present and online.
“Memorial day is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May every year honouring the men and women who died while serving their country in the US military. The theme of today’s event is about coming full circle, about partnership. I thank Specialist Louie Kaman and Captain Alexander Fhlug for being present to talk about their experiences with the US military. These service men’s deployment here stems from a partnership that began during WWII and still remains strong today.
Speaking at the event, Specialist Louie Kaman, serving as the Task Force Oceania Cultural Specialist Liaison Coordination Assessment Team PNG, shared his experiences as a Papua New Guinean in the U.S. military.
“I’m really grateful for this opportunity and it’s a blessing for me to be in the US military and then come back to serve Papua New Guinea. Its really rare for Papua New Guinean’s to be able to do that and I’m honoured to be given this opportunity by the US army.”
Captain Alexander R. Fhlug, currently serving as the USARPAC Oceania Engagement Team, PNG Officer-in-Charge shared his experiences as well and his role in the U.S. Army.
“I belong to the 32nd brigade combat team, where we get to learn a lot the campaigns in Papua New Guinea and how, really, US history in WWII is Papua New Guinea’s history.”
The students were then engaged in a Q&A session. The service men disseminated informative answers regarding their line of work and the outfit they represented.
Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for mourning the U.S. military personnel who have died while serving in the United States armed forces. It is observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.