By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class (SW) Nolan Kahn, Naval Public Affairs Support Element West, San Diego
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- SAN DIEGO (NNS) - Dozens paid tribute to honor the legacy and sacrifice of the more than 300,000 lives lost in World War II, during the Veteran's Wreath Remembrance Ceremony held aboard the USS Midway.
The event, hosted by the USS Midway Museum, kicked-off the Midway Legacy Week held May 23 to 25.
The museum, housed on the former USS Midway, offers visitors a chance to come aboard the decommissioned aircraft carrier and view various activities, which range from static displays and aircraft restoration to live recordings of veteran oral histories.
"What better way to kick off San Diego's Legacy Week and Memorial Day weekend than to honor those that have risked and lost their lives for the freedoms and privileges that we have in this great country today," said retired Marine Corps Veteran Jack Harkins, Chairman of the United Veterans Council of San Diego County. "Although this event is just going on for a few days, we should be offering thanks and honoring them for generations to come."
World War II veterans attended the event and also participated in the wreath ceremony.
"It's truly an honor to stand side-by-side with very decorated World War II veterans and be able to share stories from the fleet," said Aviation Technician Airman James Sinyard, a volunteer from Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 41 (HSM 41). "There is a saying in today's Navy (to) work smarter, not harder and back during World War II they truly worked hard and fought harder."
Steven Hurst, of Bremerton, Wash., said Legacy Week events are a fantastic way to show children and younger generations the USS Midway and to have them walk the ship's deck plates and through a piece of history.
"I am glad that I had the chance to show my children and even learn myself about the life and hardships in the fleet, even though I never served," said Hurst. "I now understand what it would have been like and what it continues to be like to be a part of the United States Navy."
Harkins said Legacy Week and Memorial Day is a time to reflect and deeply appreciate those who serve and risked everything for the great country we live in today.
"It's a privilege and a blessing to have this many guest and visitors come on board to pay tribute and to shake the hands of the service members who desperately fought to keep America and her glory alive," said Harkins. "It's a once in a lifetime opportunity to be a part of something so big."