First Lady Laura Bush visited Midway Atoll on Thursday, March 1, 2007 as part of a tour recognizing the new 140,000 square mile Marine National Monument covering the northwest Hawaiian Islands. This area was designated as such in 2006 by President Bush. The Marine National Monument includes the Midway Atoll National Memorial which the International Midway Memorial Foundation (IMMF) encouraged Congress to pass, following which the bill was signed into law by President Clinton in November 1999.
Mrs Bush visited the Battle of Midway Memorial on the parade grounds of Sand Island, bringing back my memories of when the IMMF installed and dedicated the gray granite and black marble memorial monument in 1995.
We all look forward to honoring the men who fought and died in the Battle of Midway on June 4, 2007. Many of heroes of the battle are no longer with us, but we will always remember them for their singular bravery and skill in keeping our country safe for democracy. For those living Midway veterans, we extend the Foundation's deepest appreciation for the sacrifices you made, and for the victory you scored at Midway in June, 1942.
***A deposit of $200 for each person is required to attend the commemorative events in Hawaii and this amount should be sent to Bob Folliard at the address stated at the end of this newsletter. Any questions should be directed to Mr. Folliard at (301) 437-6015.***
Military Historic Tours (MHT) has secured a 737 Continental aircraft for transportation from Honolulu Airport to Midway Island. The cost for the round trip airfare is $1150 per person. However, for members of the IMMF, the roundtrip cost will be $950 per person. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is planning to cover the cost of the airfare for Midway veterans. This plan does not include their wives. Those Foundation members who are planning to travel to Midway should contact Robert Folliard (see contact information provided at the end of this newsletter). In addition, a Princess Cruise liner will be leaving Los Angeles and arriving at Midway with 1500 passengers on June 4, 2007.
The actual Battle of Midway commemorative ceremony is scheduled from 12:30pm to 2p.m. The Continental flight will arrive at about 11:30a.m and leave at about 7:00pm to return to Honolulu. After the ceremony the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will offer walking tours from 2:15 to 4:30pm.
After June 4, 2007, and having finalized the commemorative events for the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the Foundation will again embark on projects to obtain funds for the completion of its documentary film "Against All Odds". I have contacted our former film company president and he now conveniently lives in Tampa, FL only 40 miles from me. He has again agreed to help us produce this film. Stay tuned!
Chris and I wish everyone a Happy Easter and we look forward to seeing everyone who is attending the commemorative events of the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Midway.