When former Midway volunteer Jim Simmons began his knot-tying demonstrations on the ship’s fo’c’sle in 2007 as a way to entertain museum guests and highlight the history of seamanship, little did he know the impact that he would ultimately have on thousands of students in San Diego.
The United States entered World War II following the Japanese naval air strike against the Pacific Fleet in Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Fortunately, the three U.S. aircraft carriers were not in port during the attack, and within weeks, American naval forces were hitting back at Japanese outposts in the Pacific.
He had just turned 14 when the Japanese attacked the U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on Dec. 7, 1941. Like many Americans, he wanted to “join the fight,” but Joe Neves was too young. The wait seemed like an eternity, but as soon has he turned 17, he convinced his father to sign a “permission slip” so that he could enlist in the Navy.
Home Depot volunteers from all over the country built playhouses, picnic tables, dog beds, outdoor benches and chairs, and planters all destined to become early Christmas presents for the families of military members and veterans, as well as military and veteran support organizations.
Millions of school American children in the 1950s and 1960s remember the phrase “see Spot run” from the introduction books that helped them learn to read while in first grade. Today, however, “see Spot run” has evolved to “see Spot climb steps, jump rope, open doors, search and identify, capture data and even throw a switch and drag a cement block.”
For more than 15 years, I’ve been creating events on the USS Midway Museum that bring awareness and honor to our military veterans and those who still serve in uniform. However, nothing I’ve ever done was as emotional and memorable for me as my experience as a guardian for a group of Vietnam War veterans on the most recent Honor Flight to Washington D.C.