The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) succeeded in having the Senate remove (from the House Omnibus Bill) restrictions placed on the Agency that would prevent USFWS from demolishing any remaining structures on Midway. This deletion occurred during negotiations on the bill between the House and Senate in November 2016. Although the USFWS has recently (in the past 18 months) been consulting with the International Midway Memorial Foundation (IMMF) on such matters, it still has the ultimate legal right to destroy any structure on Midway. The IMMF is presently addressing this issue in Congress.
Several publications have recently released articles about Midway. In October, 2016, the Associated Press’ Caleb Jones interviewed me for an article entitled The Second Battle of Midway that was published in major newspapers (LA Times, Military Times, Seattle Times, The Washington Times and the Navy Times, among others) throughout the world. The link to the AP article is: http://phys.org/news/2016-11-midway-pits-military-history-wildlife.html.
Michelle Lockwood, editor of the Naval Order of the United States newsletter, published an article entitled Saving the Midway Islands in the fall of 2016. You can find the article on www.navalorder.org.
Wendy Laursen, editor of the Maritime Executive, with a circulation of 60,000 subscribers from 127 countries, published an article on the same issue in its Fall edition. Their headquarters are in South Wales, Australia. You can find this article on www.maritime-executive.com.
In a letter to the editor of the Washington Post entitled The National Park Service Should Take Over the Maintenance of Midway Atoll, its author, John G. Hemry Owings, makes the case for the National Park Service to assume the primary responsibility of Midway.
It is gratifying to see this attention given to Midway Atoll in such a variety of publications.
On October 10, 2016, a lecture on the Battle of Midway given by myself to the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Society of Former Special Agents of the FBI was well received. As a token of their appreciation, I was presented with a cup inscribed with the FBI emblem, and its virtues of Fidelity, Bravery and Integrity. It was my honor to talk to them about the Battle of Midway.
This year, on May 29, the Sarasota, Florida Memorial Day Parade will be dedicated to the Battle of Midway, and is beginning to take shape. It will begin at 1000 in downtown Sarasota and wind its way through the city. Over 10,000 people are expected to attend. The IMMF’s Midway National Memorial Flag will be carried during the parade. At its conclusion, there will be a commemorative ceremony recognizing those who have risked life and limb in defense of our country. Midway veterans in attendance will be presented with a sterling silver Battle of Midway National Memorial Coin and be honored for their service to our country. I have been asked --- and graciously accepted --- an invitation to be guest speaker. I look forward to this opportunity!
Senator Dan Sullivan (AK) is sending a letter to the U.S. Postmaster General, cosigned by other Senate military veterans, requesting that a 75th anniversary Battle of Midway Commemorative Stamp be created. The letter is scheduled to go out in the near future.
After many years and much effort, I am happy to report that McFarland & Company will publish my manuscript entitled Victory at Midway: The Battle That Changed the Course of World War II. McFarland is presently getting the book ready for publication. The current phase of preparation will take several months. I look forward to finally seeing it in print!
This week the IMMF sent a letter to officials at the White House concerning the multiple issues regarding the Midway Islands. The Foundation eagerly awaits a response.
To mark the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, Senator Dan Sullivan (AK) is planning to present a resolution in the Senate recognizing the Battle of Midway. We extend our appreciation to Senator Sullivan, Erik Elam, Legislative Director and Alex Schenck, Legislative Aide for their support of our mission to preserve the memory of the Battle of Midway. I will keep you updated.
Chris and I wish everyone well in this New Year.