Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

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  • Primary Source Document
Wars & Conflicts
  • World War II 1939-1945
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Battle of Midway
Commemoration Script

[Download a PDF version of the commemoration script.]

Ladies and Gentlemen, the Commemoration will begin in five minutes. Please take your seats. As a reminder, today’s ceremony is an outdoor event and all covered personnel not in formation will render appropriate salutes. At this time please turn off all cell phones, Blackberries and electronic devices.

Will the guests please be seated.

As a reminder, military members should salute on the first note of the national anthem and order arms on the last note of music.  Our civilian guests should place their right arm over their heart during the national anthem.  Guests are asked to ensure that cell phones and other electronic devices are silenced for the duration of the ceremony.

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen. It is my pleasure to welcome you to the [INSERT LOCATION] celebration commemorating the Battle of Midway. Would the guests please rise for the arrival of the official party.
[INSERT LOCATION], Attention.

Official Party arrives. (CO, XO, CMC, SEL, Honored Veterans, and Guest Speaker)

On the dais this morning we are fortunate to have
[INSERT NAMES], Commanding Officer, etc…

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to [INSERT LOCATION]’s Commemoration of the [INSERT ANNIVERSARY NUMBER] Anniversary of the World War Two Battle of Midway.
Welcome to the [INSERT NAMES], distinguished guests, shipmates, friends, family and all of you gathered here this morning to remember America’s fallen sailors and marines of this historic battle.

[Multi-service Color Guard marches into Place]

Ladies and Gentlemen, please be seated. [INSERT LOCATION], Parade Rest. (MC Reads: Ceremony Intro)

Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise and remain standing for the National Anthem and Invocation.

Parade the colors.

MC commands “Parade the Colors” The Color Guard marches down the center, reverses and stops at the center.

The National Anthem begins

INVOCATION

MC The Invocation will be delivered by Chaplain [INSERT NAME]

Chaplain proceeds to lectern, provides invocation & returns to his seat.  Once Chaplain has completed the invocation, the MC commands “Retire the Colors.”

MC “Retire the Colors”
The “Trio to the National Emblem March” begins playing
The Color Guard marches down the center and exits from the parade ground.

- IN THE NAVY WE HAVE TWO TRADITIONS THAT WE HOLD TO ANNUALLY. IN OCTOBER, WE OBSERVE THE NAVY’S BIRTHDAY TO CELEBRATE ITS ESTABLISHMENT BY THE CONTINENTAL CONGRESS IN 1775, AND THEN, IN JUNE, WE PAUSE TO ACKNOWLEDGE A MOMENT IN MODERN HISTORY WHERE OUR ANCESTORS PROVED TO THE NATION THAT ITS FAITH AND TRUST IN OUR NAVY IS WORTHWHILE.

- AT [INSERT LOCATION], THIS ANNUAL EVENT RESTS A LITTLE CLOSER TO OUR HEARTS, BECAUSE WE CAN SEE BEHIND THE CURTAIN, SO TO SPEAK, AND INTO THE HISTORY THAT IS NOT OFTEN GLORIFIED, OR UNDERSTOOD, BY MOST - YET IT IS EXTREMELY SIGNIFICANT TO OUR NAVY’S SUCCESSES AT MIDWAY.

- THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY IS OFTEN REFERRED TO AS THE TURNING POINT IN THE PACIFIC DURING WORLD WAR TWO, WHERE THE CAMPAIGN IN THE PACIFIC HAD A MOMENTUM SHIFT, AND OUR NAVY’S DEFENSIVE POSTURE BECAME AN INSURMOUNTABLE OFFENSIVE POSTURE.

- WE AT [INSERT LOCATION] ALSO KNOW THAT NOT ONLY WAS HISTORY MADE AT THIS SMALL ISLAND, BUT MODERN NAVAL WARFARE ITSELF WAS CHANGED, AND THAT THE STRATEGY BEHIND VICTORY AT MIDWAY WAS SOMETHING “MORE.”

- WE AT [INSERT LOCATION] RECOGNIZE THAT, WHILE MIDWAY WAS THE TURNING POINT IN THE PACIFIC, IT WAS ALSO A PIVOTAL POINT FOR INFORMATION WARFARE.

- FOR CRYPTOLOGIC SAILORS, MIDWAY IS ALSO SEEN AS A MOMENT IN HISTORY WHERE, AGAIN, THE NAVY PROVED ITSELF TO BE BOTH ADAPTIVE AND CUTTING-EDGE IN HOW IT USES SAILORS’ TECHNICAL SKILLS AND THEN APPLIES THEM TO THE CHALLENGES FACING OUR NATION AND THE NAVY.

- TO ACHIEVE VICTORY AT MIDWAY, OUR CRYPTOLOGIC ANCESTORS DEMONSTRATED THAT THEY WERE WILLING TO BE BOTH PERSISTENT AND CREATIVE WHEN CONFRONTED WITH A CHALLENGE.

- TODAY, AS WE GATHER AND COMMEMORATE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BATTTLE OF MIDWAY AND THOSE WHO SERVED IN IT, WE ALSO CELEBRATE THE BATTLE’S EVOLVING LEGACY.

- TODAY, WE HONOR THE VETERANS OF MIDWAY, AND WE ALSO HONOR THE SIGNIFICANCE THAT MIDWAY PLAYS AS A PART OF OUR NAVY’S HISTORY;

- TODAY, WE CONSIDER THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY’S LEGACY, WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED THE WEEK OF JUNE 4-7 IN 1942, WHEN WARFIGHTERS IN THE PACIFIC ENGAGED IN BATTLE AFTER HAVING PREPARED THE BATTLESPACE USING THE MOST TIMELY INTELLIGENCE; CALCULATED THE ODDS GIVEN THE ENEMY’S ORDER OF BATTLE; AND THEN CONFIDENTLY MOVED INTO THE FOLD, AFTER HAVING CHOSEN THE TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT.

- TODAY, IN CONSIDERING MIDWAY’S LEGACY, WE CONSIDER MIDWAY’S NAMESAKE, WHICH WAS COMMISSIONED ONLY THREE YEARS AFTER THE BATTLE ITSELF, ON SEPTEMBER 10, 1945.

- THE USS MIDWAY SERVED AS A HOME FOR MULTIPLE CREWS THROUGH BOTH PEACE AND COMBAT OPERATIONS, HAVING SERVED IN BOTH VIETNAM AND THE 1991 PERSIAN GULF WAR.

- IT WAS ONLY RECENTLY, IN 1992, AFTER NEARLY 50 YEARS OF STEAMING AND HAVING BEEN A HOME FOR NEARLY THREE GENERATIONS OF SAILORS, THAT SHE WAS DECOMMISSIONED.

- MIDWAY’S LEGACY CARRIES FURTHER YET, AS WITH US TODAY, AMONGST THE PEOPLE GATHERED HERE WE HAVE:

- VETERANS WHO SERVED AT MIDWAY;

- WE HAVE IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS OF PEOPLE WHO SERVED AT MIDWAY;

- WE HAVE WITH US CREW MEMBERS WHO SERVED ON THE USS MIDWAY;

- AND WITH US TODAY, AS WE COMMEMORATE THE BATTLE OF MIDWAY, WE HAVE THE NEXT GENERATION OF SAILORS, SOLDIERS, AIRMAN, MARINES, COAST GUARDSMAN, CIVILIANS, AND FAMILY MEMBERS WHO CAN NOW CLEARY SEE BEFORE THEM JUST HOW A NAVAL LEGACY EVOLVES FROM BEING A PIVOTAL MOMENT IN HISTORY, TO BEING THE INSPIRING NAMESAKE OF A WARSHIP THAT DEPLOYS TO DEFEND FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY AROUND THE WORLD AND TO BECOMING A STAPLE IN THE NAVY’S CALENDAR, WHERE HISTORY IS MARKED, AND NAVAL HERITAGE IS REAFFIRMED FOR GENERATIONS.

- HERE AND NOW, WE ALL CAN SEE THE IMPORTANCE OF WHY THIS HERITAGE IS DELIBERATELY PASSED INTO THE HANDS OF THE NEXT GENERATION, WHO NOW TRAIN FOR WAR, AND MUST BE INSPIRED TO FIND NEW WAYS OF MEETING CHALLENGES, OF ENGAGING A COMPLEX MISSION, WHICH MAY NECESSITATE THEIR PARTICIPATING IN EITHER COMBAT OR HUMANITARIAN OPERATIONS, EITHER DIRECTLY, INDIRECTLY, OR IN A CRITICALLY ENABLING CAPACITY.

- AS WE COMMEMORATE MIDWAY, WE CONSIDER ITS LEGACY AND ITS CONTINUING ABILITY TO INSPIRE US, AND WE WONDER IF, MAYBE ONE DAY, WE, OURSELVES, WILL SERVE AT A MOMENT OR PLACE LIKE MIDWAY.

- AND WILL WE SERVE WELL ENOUGH TO ADVANCE MILITARY HISTORY OR LEAVE A HISTORICAL MARKER THAT IS EMBODIED ON THE HULL OF A PROUD NAVAL SHIP;

- WE ALL SHOULD WONDER IF WE WILL EVER SERVE IN SUCH AN HONORABLE WAY, THAT IT LEAVES A MARK THAT SEARS ITSELF INTO THE CULTURE OF GENERATIONS OF SAILORS, AND THEIR FAMILIES, TO COME.

- FOR NOW, WE HAVE MIDWAY AS OUR MARKER TO SERVE A STRONG EXAMPLE OF WHO WE ARE, AND WHY WE EXIST, SO THAT WELL INTO THE FUTURE, SAILORS WILL CONTINUE TO STOP DURING THE WEEK OF JUNE 4-7 OF EVERY YEAR AND CONSIDER HOW NAVAL LEGACIES ARE MADE, AND WHY THEY ARE TIMELESSLY CHERISHED, GENERATION AFTER GENERATION.

[NAS Sound System: “First Call to Colors”]

Ladies and Gentlemen please rise for Morning Colors, our National Anthem and the delivery of our Invocation. [INSERT LOCATION], Attention.

Multi-Service Color Guard presents Colors; [INSERT NAME] sings the National Anthem.

Chaplain [INSERT NAME] will now deliver the Invocation.
(The Chaplain walks to the Podium, delivers Invocation, and then returns to his seat)

INVOCATION MARKER

Ladies and Gentlemen, please be seated. [INSERT LOCATION], Parade Rest.
(Every one sits down; formations go to parade rest w/o signal from Company Cmdrs).

(PAC Rifle Drill Commences)

Ladies and Gentlemen, it gives me great pleasure to introduce [INSERT NAME], Commanding Officer, [INSERT LOCATION] and guest speaker for [INSERT LOCATION]’s Commemoration of the Battle of Midway. [INSERT LOCATION] - AT EASE

Guest Speaker, CO

Ladies and Gentlemen, the [XO, NAME] [INSERT LOCATION]

[XO, NAME] proceeds to lectern, makes remarks, then walks to the center of the ceremonial grounds.

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE RISE.  THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER WILL NOW PLACE THE WREATH.  OUR WREATH LAYING CEREMONY HERE AT [LOCATION] SERVES AS OUR CORNERSTONE FOR MANY SIMILAR WREATH LAYING CEREMONIES THROUGHOUT THE U.S. NAVY.  LET IT BE KNOWN THAT AS THE EXECUTIVE OFFICER LAYS THIS WREATH, WREATHS ARE BEING LAID AROUND THE WORLD IN HONOR OF OUR MIDWAY VETERANS.  WE PAUSE TO REMEMBER AND HONOR THE SPIRIT OF MIDWAY IN OUR NAVY AND NATION.  WE PAUSE TO HONOR ALL THOSE WHO HAVE SERVED OR ARE SERVING WITH HONOR, COURAGE, AND COMMITMENT.

The Wreath Bearer moves toward the center and transfers the wreath to the Executive officer.  The Wreath Bearer marches of the parade deck.  The Executive Officer then takes the wreath and places it in the bay.
Once the wreath is afloat, the Executive Officer steps three paces back.

MC “HAND SALUTE”

TAPS
“TAPS” on cue
MC gives this cue after last note of TAPS
At this time the [name of the aircraft (model, type, and series)] does a flyover

MC “READY TWO”

MC “LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, PLEASE REMAIN STANDING FOR THE PLAYING OF ANCHORS AWEIGH AND MARINES’ HYMM FOLLOWED BY THE BENEDICTION.

GUEST SPEAKER’S MARKER

Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise as a memorial wreath is laid at the base of [INSERT LOCATION’s] memorial tree in honor of all Service Members that served at the Battle of Midway and for a memorial flyover by [INSERT NAME] followed by the playing of TAPS, and a moment of silence to Honor those who have gone before us and have given the ultimate sacrifice for Freedom and Democracy around the world.. [INSERT LOCATION], Attention.

<Remain at Memorial> Observe Flyover, TAPS, and moment of Silence)

[TAPS played]

[Moment of Silence]

Thank You, please be seated. [INSERT LOCATION], at-Ease.

Chaplain [INSERT NAME] will now deliver a Closing Benediction.
(Chaplain walks to the Podium and delivers a brief Invocation, and then returns to his seat)

INVOCATION MARKER

Ladies and Gentlemen, this concludes our ceremony. Formation Commanders, take charge and carry out the plan of the day. [INSERT LOCATION], DISMISSED.

Conclusion/Dismissal Service Songs by [INSERT NAME] 

Published: Mon Feb 26 15:44:44 EST 2018