Military service members, veterans and civilians participated in a commemoration service June 7 to honor the historic sacrifice and service displayed during the Battle of Midway aboard the USS Midway Museum.
This year marked the 72nd anniversary of the nation’s most historically significant naval victory. The Battle of Midway occurred June 4-7, 1942, and changed the tide of the war in the Pacific and the course of world history.
Retired Navy Rear Adm. John “Mac” McLaughlin, CEO and president of the USS Midway Museum, hosted the ceremony and stressed the importance of continuing the legacy handed down by the nation’s veterans.
“We are honored to welcome the heroes of the battle that this ship was named after and the message we will forever more be delivering to all of our visitors in the future decades,” McLaughlin said.
Medal of Honor recipient Marine Col. Robert J. Modrzejewski attends the event each year.
“This is a terrific event. This is history,” said Modrzejewski. “I’m really here to honor these gentlemen who have done so much. I’m one to appreciate what they’ve done for us and our country. I wouldn’t miss this event for anything.”
A video presentation was shown during the commemoration featuring interviews, photos and video footage of the battle and the veterans involved in the historic event.
“It was really moving,” remarked Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Michael Patrick Rasco, assigned to USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76).
Surviving veterans and families of those passed were also honored individually for their service with a summary of each veteran’s part in the battle.
“It’s become a special event to have the Battle of Midway heroes celebrate their victory on the USS Midway, the ship that’s named after their heroism,” said McLaughlin. “Every year it’s a special time for us, it’s a special time for all the Navy leadership and especially it’s nice to have the veterans and their families here. It means so much to them.”
Press Release, June 09, 2014; Image: Wikimedia