71ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY

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R 291256Z MAY 13 PSN 809351K26
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SUBJ/71ST ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY// 



RMKS/1.  On 4 June, we will commemorate the 71st anniversary of one of the 
greatest naval engagements in history:  the Battle of Midway.
Just six months after suffering a stunning loss at Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Navy 
struck a debilitating blow against our adversary's main aircraft carrier 
striking force.  When the smoke of battle cleared, four of the aircraft 
carriers that had taken part in the attack on Pearl Harbor lay on the floor of 
the Pacific Ocean.  While years of desperate combat and sacrifice still lay 
ahead, the tide of battle in the Pacific had turned, and from that point on, 
the U.S. was on the offensive.

2.  Victory came at a sobering price, as the U.S. carrier YORKTOWN, the 
destroyer HAMMONN, 150 aircraft, and more than 300 Sailors were lost.  The 
debt we owe the heroes of Midway can only be repaid by remembering their deeds 
and emulating their intrepid spirit.  The survivors of Midway grow fewer each 
year, and before too long they will exist only in the annals of history.  
Their legacy, however, will live on for as long as the U.S. Navy patrols the 
world's oceans.  The quality of our service should - must - reflect the 
example they set 71 years ago.

3.  Though a lifetime has passed since the Battle of Midway, and the world and 
our Navy have changed in many ways, the lessons of June 1942 still resonate 
today.  The Navy-Marine Corps Team, acting decisively in defense of our 
Nation's interests, can project more power, across greater distances, more 
effectively, than any naval force the world has ever seen.  That was 
demonstrated at Midway and throughout the Pacific in World War II, and 
maintaining that capability is our charge today.

4.  We are privileged to be the heirs of the victors of Midway.  Next week, at 
Navy bases and aboard ships around the world, we will remember their 
achievements and honor their legacy.  By doing so, we acknowledge the debt we 
owe them and reinforce the heritage of warfighting excellence that connects 
our generation to that of 1942, and to all Sailors throughout our Navy's 
history.

5.  Released by Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, Chief of Naval Operations.//

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