SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, Naval Air Forces (CNAF) hosted a ceremony to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the Battle of Midway June 2 at the USS Midway Museum in downtown San Diego.
The event included a reception with live music provided by Navy Band Southwest and an F/A-18E Super Hornet flyover by the "Stingers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113. The reception honored surviving veterans, families and loved ones attending in remembrance of those who have passed.
The Battle of Midway, often described as the turning point in the Pacific during World War II, took place June 4-7, 1942. During the battle, U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike forces defeated an Imperial Japanese strike force, preventing them from capturing Midway Island.
Retired Rear Adm. John McLaughlin, president and CEO of USS Midway Museum began the ceremony with opening remarks about the importance of commemorating the Battle of Midway.
"I am honored to be a part of this ceremony," McLaughlin said. "The Battle of Midway was one of the greatest naval battles the world has ever witnessed. Today, we honor that battle and those who fought so bravely to turn the tide of World War II."
The Battle of Midway is an important marker in naval heritage because it is considered to have changed the course of the war in the Pacific by putting the previously thought to be unstoppable Japanese forces on the defensive, where they remained until their ultimate surrender, Sept. 2, 1945.
During the ceremony, guest speaker Vice Adm. DeWolfe H. Miller III, commander, Naval Air Forces and commander, Naval Air Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, honored the Battle of Midway veterans, along with their family and friends in attendance.
"Seventy-six years ago, our nation, and these men, many just boys at the time, fought and won the greatest naval battle ever," Miller said. "We celebrate the Battle of Midway because it was a test of our national character and the fate of our nation was in the balance. In the face of a superior force and overwhelming odds, a group of Americans was called upon to risk it all for their country, for their families, and for the future. They were called upon to risk everything for us. They did, and they prevailed."
The ceremony closed with a playing of Echo Taps and a moment of silence for the fallen, followed by a standing ovation for the veterans in attendance and their families.
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