The first half of our day was taken up with commemorations. At 0645, we were at the US memorial at Skyline ridge. The site was packed. We took in the stunning views of the city and battlefields then experienced the moving US commemoration. Straight after we were whisked down to Commonwealth Street for the Solomon Islands "Pride of our Nation" service where our Solomonís agent Aitkin was presented with a medallion for his fatherís service as a coastwatcher.
After lunch, we headed to Edsonís Ridge where we could see on the ground where Colonel Edson deployed his Marine Raider battalion and held off a Japanese force of 3,000. We also took a walk along the steep sided ridge where John Basilone won the Congressional Medal of honour.
Then to Red Beach where on 7 August 1942 the Marines first landed. There we took time to look out to Tulagi and picture what it would have been like for the Marines landing unopposed, yet hearing combat across the water.
A drive to the AMTRACK graveyard at Tetere beach took us into an eerie world where nature is conquering once mighty machines. We were all intrigued when TJ could identify the vehicle models.
On the way back to our hotel we were finally able to retrieve the baggage mislaid by the un-named airline and visit the adjacent memorial park. In the evening we split the party, half ate at our hotel, half at a nearby Japanese restaurant both meals were really excellent.
A more leisurely start is anticipated tomorrow.