In early 2007, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife (USFWS) service plans to release their draft plan for public review. If those comments are supportive, officials would then submit the plan for approval to the USFWS's regional director, according to the Washington Post on November 27, 2006. The Post article may be reviewed by going to the newspapers' web site at www.washingtonpost.com.
The International Midway Memorial Foundation (IMMF), which has been working closely with the USFWS on the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Midway Ceremony on Midway Atoll in June 4, 2007, will review the draft plan as an interested party. The Foundation applauds the USFWS' interest in having a visitor's program, and for its efforts in formulating the draft plan to enable such a program. At the suggestion of the Service, the draft plan will be published on the Foundation's web site (www.immf-midway.com) when it becomes available.
Plans for the 65th anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Midway in Hawaii and on Midway Atoll continue. Robert Folliard has initiated contact with the Halekulani Hotel as the primary meeting site for the activities of the week, including the cocktail reception on May 30, the two-day symposium May 31-June 1 and the Midway Night Dinner on Sunday, June 3. He will also be contacting the USS Missouri for the event of Saturday, June 2.
The coming symposium should be particularly interesting because of new information that has come to light regarding both the attack on Pearl Harbor and the battle of Midway. To anyone interested—especially if you plan on attending the symposium—I recommend that you read the following books: "Day of Deceit" by Robert Stinnett and "Shattered Sword" by Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully. These books contain declassified material from the National Archives and new information from the War History section of the Japanese Defense Agency, which is highly regarded for its comprehensive treatment of the campaigns and its general lack of bias. Dr. William Dudley, former Director of the Navy's Historical Center, recently reviewed "Shattered Sword" in Naval History and wrote, "The virtue of 'Shattered Sword' is that...Parshall and Tully have opened an entirely new chapter...on the battle of Midway by bringing to light more Japanese sources and interpretations than were previously available to most historians of World war II."
Plans for the ceremony on Midway Atoll are more of a challenge as the USFWS has had difficulty is securing air transportation from the commercial airline industry. The Foundation encountered the same difficulty. As a result, the Foundation, with a letter of support from the USFWS, will approach the U.S. Navy to assist in this regard (see attached). The plan is to secure air transportation from the Navy as a backup if commercial air transportation availability becomes untenable.
The USFWS has invited President Bush to attend the ceremony on Midway Atoll on June 4, 2007 and asked that the IMMF extend the same invitation, which we did. Enclosed is a letter of response from the White House (see attached).
Chris and I send our warmest regards and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year. We will be in North Carolina and Washington, D.C. during Christmas week.