Caroline Kennedy, the United States ambassador to Australia, and Wendy Sherman, the U.S. deputy secretary of state, stood together at dawn on Sunday on the island of Guadalcanal to honor the 80th anniversary of the World War II battle there that nearly led to the deaths of their fathers, and that redefined America’s role across Asia.
Then and now, there was violence, great-power competition and jittery concern about the future. Their visit occurred as China’s military was expected to wrap up 72 hours of drills around Taiwan simulating an invasion. And in their remarks at events with officials from Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Solomon Islands, both officials emphasized that the region — and the world — finds itself at another crossroads.
Ms. Kennedy, surrounded by local well-wishers, promised to “honor those who came before us and to work and do our best to leave a legacy for those who follow.”