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United States Memorial – Pukeahu Park

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Granite tablet with words engraved on it

On 10 December 2018, the United States Memorial representing the United States and New Zealand's shared history was unveiled at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park. Present at the ceremony were the then Minister of Defence Ron Mark, United States Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown and guest of honour Randall G. Schriver, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs. Michael Conley, Chief of Staff, American Battle Monuments Commission was the Master of Ceremonies.

Group of people walking next to granite tablet and freshly landscaped ground

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Dignitaries at the unveiling of the United States Memorial in December 2018.

United States Ambassador Scott Brown said the bedrock foundation of the United States and New Zealand relationship was forged during the Second World War when more than 150,000 American service personnel came to New Zealand: ‘This memorial honours our shared history, the values we share, and our ongoing commitment to making our world a better place. It provides an important place for Americans and Kiwis to visit and reflect for many generations to come.’

Group of people, some in military uniform, standing on patch of grass listening to a speech

Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage

Blessing of the United States Memorial site in April 2018.

Earlier in April 2018, the memorial design was jointly unveiled by the United States Ambassador Scott Brown and Admiral Harry Harris, United States Pacific Command, who was visiting New Zealand. Prior to the unveiling, the stones imbued with the mauri or life force of the memorial were buried at the site. The short ceremony was led by Peter Jackson from Taranaki Whānui who blessed the site and laid stones from the Taranaki region. Admiral Harris brought stones from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii to lay in the earth and spoke about the enduring partnership between New Zealand and the United States. He cited conflicts where the two nations have fought alongside each other; scientific research in Antarctica; and disaster and emergency assistance including the participation of the USS Sampson in relief efforts in the wake of the Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016.

Design

Commissioned by the United States Government and the American Battle Monuments Commission, the United States Memorial was designed by architect Monica Ponce de Leon, Dean of the Princeton University School of Architecture. She worked with landscape architects, Landworks Studio and was supported by Wellington architect Sam Kebbell.

The memorial is placed to draw people into an area of reflection. The entry pathways give way to a spiralling slope that will guide visitors around a gentle mound until, at the far end of the path, there is a tablet with a passage to help them focus on remembrance. The memorial’s granite tablet was carved in Madison, Wisconsin.

The words on the tablet are taken from a radio address delivered by United States Secretary of the Navy, Frank Knox, on Anzac Day 1943:

Together, in our strength, we shall keep that ocean – Pacific! ... As we are comrades in battle, so we shall be partners in victory. I salute the lands of the ANZACs as our companions in the peace that will follow, comrades and partners as an example to all the world of what can be accomplished by a fraternity of free men.

More information

Pukeahu National War Memorial Park – Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage

New Zealand Memorial – American Battle Monuments Commission

US Forces in New Zealand – NZHistory

How to cite this page

United States Memorial – Pukeahu Park, URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/united-states-memorial-pukeahu-park, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated