TARAWA, Kiribati -- On a multi-nation visit to the Oceania region, Under Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly laid a wreath at the memorial for the Sailors and Marines killed and wounded during the Battle of Tarawa.
“Those who fell here were part of a long heroic campaign 75 years ago. They gave their lives for freedom, for liberty in this place, and all around the world,” Modly said in Tarawa, Kiribati, at a late morning ceremony Sept. 24.
The memorial inscribed, “In grateful memory to those men who paid for liberty with their lives...” honors the Sailors and Marines killed and wounded during the battle Nov. 20-23, 1943.
At the ceremony were also Mateo Tekaiara, Senior Assistant Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, Republic of Kiribati, and Jon Mote, Commander of Maritime Police.
Modly's visit to the Oceania region is focused on strengthening partnerships and cooperation.