The International Midway Memorial Foundation (IMMF) in association with the U.S. Navy will host the commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary of the war in the Pacific: December 7, 1941-June 7, 1942 from May 31-June 4, 2002 in Hawaii. The events will begin on May 31, 2002 at 1830 with a cocktail reception in the lovely Hau Terrace of the four-star Halekulani Hotel in Waikiki, Hawaii. The program will include: Representatives from the U.S. Navy; National Park Service (NPS); U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS); the countries of Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand the Philippine Republic; the state of Hawaii; and the territory of Guam. Veterans and their families of the first six months of the war in the Pacific are all being invited. The Foundation expects Rear Admiral Robert T. Conway, Jr. USN, Commander of Navy Region Hawaii to be the guest speaker once again.
On Saturday and Sunday, June 1-2, 0900-1600, the IMMF will host a two day symposium on the first six months of the war in the Pacific in the auditorium of Building 2 near the "HYPO Unit" on the Pearl Harbor Navy Base. Its coverage will include the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the fall of Wake Island, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bataan, Corregidor and the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway. Noted historians Walter Lord, John Lundstom, Dr. William Dudley, Mark Horan, Barrett Tillman, Daniel Martinez, Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, USN (Ret.) and Dr. Robert Cressman have been extended invitations to attend. Many highlights of this part of the war will be addressed including the role that naval intelligence played in the early part of the war against Japan.
On Monday June 3, a "First Six Months of the War in the Pacific Commemorative Ceremony" will be held aboard the Battleship Missouri Memorial in Pearl Harbor from 1030-1200. Veterans and their families from the first six months of the war in the Pacific will be present. Representatives from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Army and Army Air Corps will be present. In addition, the Secretary of Interior, and officials of the NPS and USFWS have been invited. Senators Jesse Helms and Daniel K. Akaka will be sending letters of invitation to the ambassadors of Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand and the Philippine Republic. A meeting with Congressman Underwood of Guam will be scheduled in February. The IMMF has had meetings with Senator Akaka and the staff of Senator Daniel Inouye to inform them of our plans and to invite their participation. The Foundation will also contact the office of the Governor of Hawaii to encourage his attendance at the June 3rd and 4th commemorative ceremonies. The IMMF is pleased to announce that Captain Stanford E. Lindzey, ChC, USN, (Ret.) once again will be chaplain for the ceremony. An active search is underway to secure the keynote speaker for this historic day. Details to follow.
On Tuesday night, June 4, from 1830-2030 the Sixth Annual Midway Night Dinner will be held on the Hau Terrace of the Halekulani Hotel. The Dinner will highlight the battles of the first six months of the war including Coral Sea and Midway. A special showing of the Foundation's promotional documentary "Against All Odds" will be shown at the dinner. Our plan is to have General Henry C. Stackpole, USMC (Ret.) once again be President of the Mess and have invited Ambassador J. William Middendorf, II to be the keynote speaker. All participants of the June 3 events will be invited to the dinner. Stay tuned and don't touch that dial!!
*** Note that the main headquarters of the IMMF have been changed from the Royal Hawaiian to the Halekulani Hotel. All flight reservations, lodging and ground transportation will be the sole responsibility of those attending. Estimated costs of the week's events is in progress and should be less than $500.00. For those interested in ground transportation in Hawaii, contact Mr. Glen Tomlinson, President of Top Guns Tours at (808) 396-8112. An outline of the week's events is enclosed with this issue for your convenience. ***
The Honorable Jesse Helms of North Carolina has accepted an invitation from the Foundation to become an active member of its Board of Trustees. As many know, Senator Helms will be retiring this year. On December 4, 2001, I met with the senator and Garrett Grigsby, and the senator graciously accepted my invitation to become a member of the Active Board of Trustees of the International Midway Memorial Foundation upon his retirement. Thank you, Senator Helms.
The IMMF will be reviewing the blue prints of the "HYPO Unit" from Naval Intelligence at Pearl Harbor in an effort to ascertain the feasibility of establishing a small museum in the space that formerly housed the intelligence staff of LCDR Joseph Rochefort, USN. He and his staff effectively broke the Japanese code to help change the course of history at the Battle of Midway. This review has begun with the approval of Admiral Thomas B. Fargo, USN, Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and with the assistance of Naval Intelligence, Pearl Harbor. The Foundation intends to include Naval Intelligence at Fort Meade, Maryland and Rear Admiral Donald "Mac" Showers, USN (Ret.) in this review.
The IMMF has very nearly completed the promotional film "Against All Odds", which has been produced to raise funds for production of the full length documentary "Against All Odds". The promotional film will also be distributed to eighth graders who are participating in the essay contest. The film will be soon be sent to Ambassador J. William Middendorf to compose its music. In addition, the IMMF has received word that its letter requesting that Tom Hanks be the narrator is in his hands and a reply is expected soon. The promotional film script has been written by me and my sincere thanks are extended to Christine Sims and David MacEnany for their outstanding efforts in editing the script. I also want to thank Arlen Slobodow of Public Interest Video for his continuing support in producing the kind of historically accurate film that I have envisioned. I believe this promotional documentary film is one of the finest I have seen and when it is ready, it will be made available to those who are interested in seeing it. In the meantime, here's hoping that the promotional film will generate the funding necessary to complete the entire documentary film project.
Beginning February 1, 2002, essays from eighth graders in Montgomery County and Prince George's County will be arriving in the mail for the IMMF's review. A special ceremony will be held in late June 2002 for the winners. The plan is to hold the ceremony on the Capitol steps here in Washington, D.C.
I was notified by Kevin Killcullen of the USFWS that, as President of the IMMF, I am being appointed by Secretary of Interior Gale Norton to represent the Foundation on the Board of Advisors responsible for the historic preservation of the Midway Atoll. A letter and document is forthcoming from Secretary Norton pursuant to this matter. A meeting by all interested parties is to be scheduled in early February.
On December 6, 2002, Dick Best was laid to rest at Arlington Cemetery following a service in the old chapel in Fort Meyer. I had the honor to be one of the pall bearers which included Admiral Thomas H. Moorer, USN (Ret.), Lieutenant General Thomas H. Miller, USMC (Ret.), Lieutenant General William H. Fitch, USMC (Ret.), Vice Admiral Robert F. Dunn, USN (Ret.) and Rear Admiral Edward L. Feightner, USN (Ret.). Vice Admiral William D. Houser, USN (Ret.), who contributed to the success of the ceremony, was unable to attend due to a prior commitment. Admiral Whitey Feightner, who was charged with ensuring LCDR Best received the proper services and recognition is to be commended. The family of Dick could not be more pleased. Thank you Whitey.
The Midway veteran of the month for December 2001 is Colonel William R. Lucius, USMC (Ret.). Bill's story will be published soon on the Foundation's webpage. *** Beginning in December all Midway Veteran of the Month stories can only be seen on our webpage: WWW.IMMF-MIDWAY.COM. ***
|Cocktail Reception at the Hau Terrace of the Halekulani Hotel
|Symposium on the "First Six Months of the War in the Pacific", highlighting
the battles of the Coral Sea and Midway.
Building 2 Auditorium,
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
|"First Six Months of the War in the Pacific Commemorative Ceremony" honoring
the veterans of that period.
BATTLESHIP MISSOURI MEMORIAL,
Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
|Annual Midway Night Dinner highlighting the battles of Coral Sea and Midway.
Halekulani Hotel: Hau Terrace
*** Invitations to the week's events are being extended to all United States veterans of this period, the U.S. Government including all branches of the military (active and retired), the Hawaiian State Government and to interested American citizens, as well as to the following countries: Australia, Great Britain, New Zealand, and the Philippine Republic. ***
With a crew of Americans,
loyal and brave as could be,
Fighting a just cause,
Freedom, Religion, Life and Liberty.
With Our Creator at head,
we're destined to win,
As an American Nation,
we'll fight to the end.
Author: Eddie Shiflett