NAVAL AIR FACILITY MISAWA, Japan – Naval Air Facility Misawa honored U.S. and Japanese service members during a Battle of Midway Remembrance Ceremony, June 6, 2012.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the battle of Midway, which served as one of the most significant battles in naval history. Often regarded as a critical turning point in the Pacific during World War II, the battle raged between the U.S. and Japanese navies between June 4-7, 1942, collectively costing more than 3,500 U.S. and Japanese lives.
In the 70 years since that battle concluded, the world has changed significantly, perhaps most notably, the strong U.S.-Japanese relationship that has been built in the aftermath of World War II.
During the Remembrance, Naval Air Facility Misawa Commanding Officer Capt. Chris Rodeman addressed the U.S. and Japanese service members in attendance and paid tribute to the bravery and sacrifices made by the Battle of Midway participants 70 years ago.
“Today, we gather here as allies and friends. Today, the partnership between our services and our nations serves as the foundation of regional peace and prosperity,” said Rodeman, a native of Anderson, Ind. “But we have not forgotten those who struggled in that battle, Japanese and American, and we honor their memory; we pay tribute to their patriotism, dedication, heroism and sacrifice.”
During the ceremony NAF Misawa Command Chaplain Lt. Mark Ames offered both an invocation and benediction, followed by a moment of silence. During the moment, members of the Navy Misawa Honor Guard silently laid wreaths at the base of both the U.S. and Japanese flagpoles.
Following the ceremony, Master-at-Arms 1st Class Roberto Hayward, who coordinated the Remembrance, said that any opportunity to highlight Navy heritage is important, but the Battle of Midway has significant, lasting impact.
“Midway’s lessons are enduring,” said Hayward, a native of Rockville Centre, N.Y. “The fighting spirit and self-sacrifice these patriots made on behalf of their countries is astounding. I think we can draw courage and strength from their example, and the bond that has been built since then continues to strengthen and grow.
“I’m proud to say that I come to work each day and have the opportunity to work alongside both U.S. and Japanese personnel,” he said. “We’ve come a long way together since Midway, and I look forward to seeing the relationship between our two countries continue to flourish.”
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