On Monday, June 4, the USS Arizona Memorial held special ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway. A special wreath-laying ceremony and a parading of the colors was joined by singing of the national anthem, and a flyover by vintage T-6 Texan planes.
Both service members and civilians were present for the ceremony which honored those who fought in the Battle of Midway. Guest speaker Rear Adm. James Caldwell said “Today, we reflect on and celebrate the accomplishments of one of America’s greatest generations; those brave men and women that served our country in a time of war.”
Occurring only 6 months after the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, the Battle of Midway signified the first major victory against Japan. While other battles had happened in different parts of the Pacific, none of them affected the Japanese offensive abilities like Midway.
Widely regarded as being the most important naval battle in the World War II Pacific Theater, the Battle of Midway also marked a major and decisive victory against the Imperial Japanese Navy, and a turning point in the Pacific.
The battle cost Japan heavy losses, including four aircraft carriers and a majority of their experienced pilots. The victory was due in large part to Navy cryptology experts breaking Japan’s JN-25 code, and discovering the plan to ambush the American aircraft carriers at Midway Island.
With this information known, American ships were ready and waiting. The losses inflicted upon Japan severely reduced the Imperial Navy’s ability to launch naval offensives, which was their primary objective in their attack on Pearl Harbor.
With events like this and the Memorial Day celebrations, Pearl Harbor continues to be the symbol for remembering World War II. Join us on tour today and experience this incredible and historic place!