JUNE 7, 2022 – The Naval District of Washington (NDW) hosted the Chief of Naval Operations Wreath Laying Ceremony commemorating the Battle of Midway at the United States Navy Memorial in Washington, DC on June 6.
June 2022 marks the 80th anniversary of the decisive multi-day battle between US and Japanese naval forces near Midway Atoll. Fought from June 3–7, the Battle of Midway is credited with turning the tide of the war in the Pacific toward ultimate Allied victory. The ceremony honored service members who fought at Midway as well as the families of those who gave their lives for their nation in the crucial battle.
Chief of the Naval Reserve, Commander of the Naval Reserve Force, Vice Admiral. John Mustin, joined by Rear Admiral. Michael Steffen, commander of the Naval District of Washington, laid a wreath at the memorial honoring Americans who fought in the Battle of Midway.
“Today we commemorate those who sacrificed, those who refused to back down and those who ensured America’s triumph at Midway,” Mustin said. “We remember those whose selfless dedication helped defend global freedom against tyranny.”
Mustin remarked that he was personally moved by the commemoration, as his great-grandfather, Captain George Murray, was the commanding officer of the USS Enterprise (CV-6), which helped sink three aircraft carriers Japanese and a cruiser during the battle. Later in his career, Vice Admiral Murray accepted the surrender of the Caroline Islands on behalf of the Commander, Pacific Fleet.
Following Mustin’s remarks, the master of ceremonies, Principal Chief Musician Casey Campbell, read a proclamation from Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday declaring June 6, 2022 to be the Battle of Midway Memorial Day. Mustin presented a copy of the proclamation to Chief Yeoman (retired) Bill Norberg, who fought alongside Mustin’s great-grandfather at Midway and attended the event as a special guest.
The ceremony ended with a benediction by the Chief Chaplain Rear Adm. Gregory Todd.
“For those who bear the scars of war and service to our nation, grant us the privilege to ease their pain,” Todd said. “And for those who still serve selflessly, grant our nation a sense of duty to support them and support us all in defending our freedoms.”
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Account by Petty Officer 3rd Class Oliver Serna
Naval District of Washington