Memorial Service for Ambassador F. Haydn Williams
OvS Principal Sheila Brady recently attended the memorial service for Ambassador F. Haydn Williams at the National World War II Memorial. Williams, the founder and chairman emeritus of the Friends of the National World War II Memorial, worked closely with Sheila on the firm’s landscape architectural design at the Memorial.
The Celebration of Life on May 20 was a testament to Ambassador Williams’ long career in and commitment to national service and featured remarks by Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur, Major General John Herrling, and Friedrich St. Florian, designer of the Memorial. The event featured the U.S. Navy Color Guard and a 21 Bell Salute.
In 1994 Ambassador Williams was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). As chairman of ABMC’s National World War II Memorial Committee, Ambassador Williams shepherded the monument’s approval process as established by law and through 22 public hearings in five years. Sheila attended the memorial’s formal dedication in 2004.
Ambassador Williams was on Midway Island on December 7, 1941, when the First Bombardment of Midway occurred. His career took him from the Navy to academia at the University of Washington and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He was then appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Defense Department during the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations, prior to being named an Ambassador to Micronesia and Mariana during the Nixon administration. After leaving his 25-year post as president of the Asia Society, Williams went on to lead the Friends of the National WWII Memorial as its first chairman.