The Battle of Midway was a turning point for Allied forces in the Pacific during World War II. The Japanese forces suffered heavy losses that they never quite recovered from and made victory much closer for the Allies. The brave sailors, soldiers, pilots, and marines that fought in that historic battle were honored in a ceremony aboard the USS Lexington Floating Museum on Friday, June 3.
Several active duty marines and sailors were on hand with civilians and veterans to lay a symbolic wreath in the water to celebrate those who fought to halt the advance of Japanese forces. The date of the ceremony is significant for the fact that it is the anniversary of the start of the battle that took many lives on both sides of the war.
Captain Steve Banta, the Commanding Officer at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi gave the keynote speech in place of Rear Admiral Dell Bull. Due to the recent loss of one of the Blue Angels pilots Rear Admiral Bull, who is the Chief of Naval Air Training, was unable to attend as scheduled.
Banta spoke of the sacrifices that were made during the battle and the bravery of the men who fought it. He also spoke of the support that Corpus Christi and the surrounding area has given to the U.S. Military during the war and since, noting that many areas are named for different pieces and individuals that are historically important. “Several servicemen who fought in the battle trained at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi,” said Banta, “this community and everything that you do and everything that we do matters.”
Several WWII veterans were in attendance to honor their fallen brethren who made the ultimate sacrifice. The Veteran's Band of Corpus Christ were also present playing the National Anthem, Taps, and other music as part of the celebration. After the ceremony refreshments were given to attendees, who were able to mingle and speak to active duty servicemen and women as well as the veterans on the carrier.