U.S. Department of the InteriorDOI News Header
Office of the Secretary
May 31, 2007
Shane Wolfe (DOI) 202-208-6416
Barbara Maxfield (FWS) 808-792-9531


Secretary Kempthorne to be Keynote Speaker at Event to Honor Battle of Midway Veterans at Midway Atoll

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Monday, June 4, at the Battle of Midway National Memorial on Midway Atoll, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne will be the keynote speaker at an event to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Midway.

Midway Atoll is part of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, which is situated within the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. The Refuge is managed by Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Monument, established by President Bush in June 2006 as the largest marine conservation area in the world, is jointly managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the State of Hawaii.

About 1,800 people are expected to make a one-day visit to the Midway Atoll, located about 1,250 miles northwest of Honolulu. In addition to a formal ceremony, visitors will be touring some of the same structures present during the 1942 battle often cited as the turning point of World War II in the Pacific. They will also be surrounded by the largest nesting colony of Laysan and black-footed albatrosses in the world.

Who: Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne
Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle
Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installations and Environment) BJ Penn
Admiral Robert Willard, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet
Dr. James D’Angelo, President, Int’l Midway Memorial Foundation
Barry Christenson, Manager, Battle of Midway National Memorial
WWII veterans, including veterans of the Battle of Midway
What: Commemoration of the 65th anniversary of the Battle of Midway
When: Monday, June 4, 2007
Where: Battle of Midway National Memorial, Midway Atoll
Media: Reporters interested in attending the event should contact Barbara Maxfield (808-792-9531) or Shane Wolfe (202-208-6416) TODAY.

There are a limited number of seats available on aircraft departing from and returning to Honolulu on June 4. Because Midway is outside

the U.S. Customs territory, media will need to bring either a valid passport or a birth certificate and photo ID.

Note: Most of the visitors will be arriving on the cruise ship Regal Princess as part of a special voyage designed to bring veterans, their families, and other guests to Midway for the event. Others, including members of the International Midway Memorial Foundation, are arriving on an aircraft chartered by Military Historical Tours. Both groups are visiting under Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument special ocean use permits.

The event is being sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages the atoll as Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge and the Battle of Midway National Memorial. The U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet and Navy Region Hawaii and the U.S. Coast Guard are providing significant support.

— DOI —