ABMC Erects New World War II Midway Monument
Located along the northwestern portion of the Hawaiian island chain, Midway Atoll marks the location of the pivotal, World War II Battle of Midway. Because of its significance, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) authorized the creation of a Midway Monument in May 2013 and on August 12, 2015 the Midway Monument was officially erected on the island.
Considered one of the most decisive battles of World War II, the U.S. Pacific Fleet turned the tide of the war during this epic battle in June 1942. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the Japanese had been on the offensive, capturing territory throughout the Pacific. And by spring 1942, they planned to attack Midway with the goal of destroying the U.S. Pacific Fleet and capturing the atoll. Acquiring this small island would have positioned Japanese forces closer to the continental United States, serving as a jumping off point to the west coast.
Intercepted messages and code-breaking proved a key component to American success, alerting forces well ahead of time of the pending attack. Through this critical intelligence and decisive American naval and air attacks, the Japanese fleet crumbled, losing the four large carriers that had attacked Pearl Harbor, and losing more than 100 trained pilots. Had the Japanese been successful in their attack, the war in the Pacific would have been dramatically different.
This new memorial, a granite “memory stone,” is etched with a historical tribute to America’s armed forces. The stone and its path create a garden within a garden by allowing the native vegetation to grow over and between the pavers. The path becomes a trace that is part of the natural landscape. The Midway Monument is now the 27th monument, memorial or marker managed by ABMC.
Midway Atoll is itself a memorial designated as the Battle of Midway National Memorial by the U.S. Department of the Interior, now managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.