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Photographer's Note

Melanesian children, dark skinned, many with naturally blond hair, are seen congregated at a WWII monument on a hilltop in Guadalcanal, where a horrific battle took place 74 years ago, and thousands of American and Japanese soldiers perished. The actual monument consists of a platform on which a 2-meter triangular obelisk has been erected. It is the platform that the children have climbed to greet the visitors. Most of them are not looking at the camera... but then, there are a dozen different cameras all firing simultaneously. Finally, the children all appear stern but curious. When I showed them their own pictures on the screen of my camera, they all broke into smiles.

In my travels, I've seen the battlefields of Troy and Gallipoli, Sevastopol and Hastings, and I live next to a Civil War Battlefields in the United States... It is a sad truism uttered by an old American President, Herbert Hoover, "Older men declare war. But it is the youth that must fight and die."

The islanders of Oceania are divided culturally into three groups: the Melanesian who migrated to the present day Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and New Caledonia; the islanders who migrated to the Marshall Islands, Papua — New Guinea and Mariana Islands to the north of Melanesia are known as the Micronesians. A more expansive area was settled by the Polynesians who migrated to Hawaii, Samoa, Tonga, French Polynesia, Tonga, New Zealand... These migrations are thought to have taken place between 3000-1000 BC. In Workshop 1, is a map showing the three cultural groups. Of course, the Aborigines of Australia date back about 35,000 years and are known to have come from Africa by way of southern Asia.

Near the lower left of the photo are seen relics collected from the battlefield — spent shells, spoons, and coca cola bottles. In Workshop 2 is a close-up of the war relics dug out from the ground.

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Additional Photos by Bulent Atalay (batalay) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6781 W: 471 N: 12169] (41261)
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