Battle of Midway commemorated by Naval Station Great Lakes, City of Chicago at Midway Airport
Three veterans of the Battle of Midway, the crucial turning point of the war in the Pacific during World War II, were honored on June 7 at Midway Airport in Chicago during a morning ceremony sponsored by Naval Station Great Lakes (NSGL), the City of Chicago Department of Aviation, and the Chicago Marine Heritage Society.
Midway veterans retired Navy aviator Capt. Grant C. “Jack” Young, Navy veteran Jack Coombe and Marine Corps veteran Thomas Tobin shared the stage with fellow Pacific theater veterans, retired Navy Capt. Chuck Downey and Marine Corps veteran Emmanuel “Manny” Bud.
Speaking at the ceremony were Capt. Randy Lynch, NSGL commanding officer, who was the keynote speaker; Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino, Chicago Department of Aviation, who thanked veterans for their service; Capt. Carlos Ortiz, Navy Region Midwest chaplain, who delivered the invocation and benediction; and Cmdr. Robert Sullivan, NSGL executive officer, who served as master of ceremonies for the event. Also in attendance was Chicago Alderman Michael Zalewski of the 23rd Ward, who serves as chair of the city’s aviation committee.
“We salute these warriors of the Battle of Midway,” said Lynch. “Words cannot express our nation’s gratitude for your extraordinary service.”
“On behalf of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the City of Chicago, and the Chicago Department of Aviation, I want to express my deepest gratitude and appreciation for your service to our country,” said Andolino. “Thanks to you, and all of our country’s veterans and active military, all of us here enjoy the freedom we do today. Thank you so much.”
Coombe and Young, both in their 90’s, shared their combat experiences with the crowd of over 100 gathered in the airport terminal. Midway Airport’s Memorial for the Battle of Midway served as a backdrop for the ceremony.
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