VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- A solemn ceremony took place at the Association of Naval Aviation Monument to commemorate the heroes of the Battle of Midway on Monday.

For six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States suffered defeat after defeat. On June 4, 1942, Navy pilots put an end to that in Midway, the pivotal battle in the Pacific Theater.

America lost one destroyer, 145 aircraft, and 300 service members in the encounter. Pilots of later generations say that the Midway heroes continue to inspire them.

During the ceremony commemorating the 75th anniversary of the battle, the Navy and members of the Association of Naval Aviation came together to honor the fallen and salute the bravery of all who took part.

Keynote speaker, ODU military historian and author Tim Orr said:

It's very appropriate to commemorate the Battle of Midway at this locale, largely because this area served as the centerpiece for the development of the aircraft and the training that some of these pilots did.

Taps was played while an honor guard team fired off a 21-gun salute. A wreath was laid in honor of the lives lost.