On August 3, 2006 a conference call was held between Barry W. Stieglitz, Project Leader of the Hawaiian and Pacific Islands, National Wildlife Refuge System, Barbara Maxfield, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, (USFWS), James A. Noone, Vice Chairman of the International Midway Memorial Foundation (IMMF) and myself. The plan is to hold a ceremony on Sand Island on June 4, 2007 in remembrance of the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Midway.
The USFWS is investigating the feasibility of their Service providing an airplane that would leave Honolulu Airport and arrive at Midway about 10:00 am. Midway veterans travel costs would be covered by the USFWS. In the late afternoon the plane and its passengers would depart Midway Atoll and return to Honolulu. The Ceremony, lunch, guided tours and swimming would be available during this time period.
In addition, Princess Cruise lines is offering a 20 day cruise departing Los Angeles, California in time to arrive at Midway for one day on June 4, 2007. The ship holds 1500 passengers, and will continue on through the Hawaiian Islands before returning to Los Angeles.
The IMMF will play a role in the ceremony that dedicates a new sign that states that the Midway Atoll is a Wildlife Refuge and a National Memorial. The Service has given the Foundation permission to fly the Midway National Memorial flag during the ceremony.
Since the northwest Hawaiian Islands has recently been designated a Marine National Monument through an Executive Order by President George Bush, the USFWS has invited the President to be the guest speaker at the ceremony. In the White House ceremony, the President did express a desire that the public visit historic Midway Atoll. We also learned from the USFWS that the White House has given the Service 30 days to come up with a visitors program for Midway. The Service is awaiting the President's response to their invitation.
In early September the IMMF and the USFWS will hold a followup conference call to update each others' progress. In the meantime all those members that have previously written to me to be on the list that are coming to Hawaii and Midway should complete the fillable registration form, print it out, and mail it to:
P.O. Box 135
Bethany Beach, DE 19930
Cell Telephone: (301) 437-6015
The next newsletter will report an update on next years' events.
Major J. Doulas Rollow, Jr. USMCR was instrumental in the early and continuing success of the IMMF, devoting his energy, time, contacts and financial resources to ensure this end. We became very close friends and I still miss him. He was in Squadron VMSB-241 in the Battle of Midway and earned the Navy Cross. (See Winter newsletter, Volume XI, Number 46). It is the desire of the family that surviving Midway veterans and other friends of Doug attend his funeral and the reception to follow in the Hunt Room of the Chevy Chase Club in Bethesda, Maryland on Wednesday, September 27, 2006. The telephone number of the Club is (301) 652-4100. The funeral will begin at 1100 at the Fort Myers Chapel in Arlington, Virginia. Those interested Midway veterans and friends of Doug, please call his daughter, Joyce Gradle on her cell phone at (410) 474-4569 to inform her of your attendance. Chris and I look forward to seeing our friends at the funeral.
Penne Trattoria was reviewed by The East County Observer paper on Thursday, August 17th. The last paragraph reads "I don't know of many Italian restaurants that can pull off the kind of understated bygone elegance of grand painos, vintage wines and veal parmesan on which Penne Trattoria prides itself. The D'Angelos have created an instant classic."