If Ever I Could Get on Air Force One, Tomorrow Would Be the Day – POTUS to Midway!

President Obama is Midway Atoll-bound on Thursday, September 1. Tonight he is in Hawaii addressing the Pacific Island Conference of Leaders and the IUCN World Conservation Congress.

President Obama Midway

The headline is expansion of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Founded in 2006 by President George W. Bush and inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, this action expands the protected territory by 442,781 square miles, to a total 582,578 square miles.

The Pacific is gigantic yet strewn with trash. To get a sense of the challenge, read The 22-year-old trying to clean up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (FT).

Access to Midway Atoll is highly restricted. Limited volunteers visit each year for 3-week and 6-month stints. Friends of Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, of which I am a member, has published an informative Obama’s Visit to Midway.

I had hoped WWII commemorations this year would be held on Midway and Wake in conjunction with the Pearl Harbor 75th. Last year the military canceled our Wake Island Commemoration at the last minute and this year neither Midway or Wake looks to be possible. I am looking to attend the Pearl Harbor 75th though civilian access to the main events will likely not be possible as priority properly will go to veterans and their families, and dignitaries. The Iwo Jima 70th commemoration was among the most meaningful trips of my life.

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