The 2011 Centennial of Naval Aviation has been celebrated across the country throughout the year, paying tribute to the progress and achievements of the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Aviation. At the closing of the centennial year, on Dec. 1, men and women who have shaped the legacy of Naval Aviation over the past century will assemble in Washington, D.C. for a culmination of celebratory events.
A public wreath laying ceremony honoring a century of mission-ready men and women who have served in the United States Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard will take place on Thursday, Dec. 1 at 1 pm at the United States Navy Memorial. Vice Admiral Allen G. Myers IV, Commander, Naval Air Forces; Vice Admiral John P. Currier, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support, U.S. Coast Guard; and Lieutenant General Terry G. Robling, Deputy Commandant for Aviation, U.S. Marine Corps will co-host this ceremonial event.
The culminating event of this anniversary year will take place the evening of Dec. 1 at a black-tie gala being held at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. Tom Costello, NBC News, will serve as Master of Ceremonies for this evening and will also include participation by Leon Edward Panetta, Secretary of Defense; Senator John McCain; Ray Mabus, Secretary of the Navy; Admiral James A. Winnefeld, Jr., USN, Vice Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, USN, Chief of Naval Operations; Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr., USCG, Commandant of the Coast Guard; General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., USMC, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps; Vice Admiral John P. Currier, USCG, Deputy Commandant for Mission Support; and Captain Chris Ferguson, USN, Commander, NASA final Space Shuttle Flight
Lee Greenwood, country music legend, will provide the entertainment.
“We are honored to close out the centennial year in our nation’s capital,” said Captain Jim DiMatteo, USN, President, The 100th Anniversary of Naval Aviation Foundation. “The Foundation and the Centennial Task Force have had more than 30 events throughout 2011 that paid tribute to the rich history, heritage and legacy that Naval Aviation has had on our country for the past 100 years. It is with sincere respect and pride that we salute all those in the Naval Aviation Family for the achievements of the past century and we look forward with extreme confidence on what they will contribute over the next 100 years.”