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Happy Birthday Marines!
10 November 2007
A BIRTHDAY MESSAGE FROM THE COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS
Since the birth of our Nation, our liberty has been purchased by valiant men and women of deep conviction, great courage, and bold action; the cost has often been in blood and tremendous sacrifice. As America's sentinels of freedom, United States Maries are counted among the finest legions in the chronicles of war. Since 1775, Marines have marched boldly to the sounds of guns and have fought fiercely and honorably to defeat the scourge of tyranny and terror. We are Marines—that is what we do.
In the words of President John F. Kennedy: "In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger." Magnificent heroes fought in the wheat fields of Belleau Wood, in the snows of the Chosin, and on the streets of Hue City. Your generation bears this obligation now, and it is borne on mighty and capable shoulders, Just like the Marines at Belleau Wood—we are once again engaged in sustained operations ashore. Just like Belleau Wood—Marines have been given the toughest sector and have prevailed over a resilient and determined enemy—who has made us pay for our gains. Once again, as in any struggle, the road ahead is far from certain, but as Marines, we are not dissuaded by the challenges of war or the tough conditions of a warrior's life. Indeed, we don't just accept our destiny—we shape it.
On our 232nd birthday, to every Marine—those still in uniform and those who have served honorable in the past—be proud of who you are and what you do. Know that your citizenship dues have been paid in full; you are part of this Nation's elite warrior class. Cherish our families who offer marvelous support, abiding resolve, and steadfast patience. Remember those who have served and those who have fallen—their names are chiseled on the roll call of America's heroes. Those who have carried the battle colors of our Corps have forged our heritage, and today's generation of leathernecks chart our future. Carry the colors with pride; carry them with honor.
Happy Birthday Marines!
General Lejeune's Birthday Message
On November 1st. 1921, John A. Lejeune, 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps, directed that a reminder of the Corps be published by every command, to all Marines throughout the globe, on the Birthday of the Corps. Since the day, Marines have continued to distinguish themselves on many battlefields and foreign shores, in war and peace. On this Birthday of the Corps, therefore, in compliance with the will of the 13th Commandant, Article 38 United States Marine Corps Manual, Edition of 1921, is published as follows:
"On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date many thousands of men have borne that name Marine. In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the Birthday of our Corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.
The record of our Corps is one which bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argome, Marines have won foremost honors in war and in the long era of tranquility at home generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres, and in every corner of the seven seas so that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.
In every battle and skirmish since the Birth of the Corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term "Marine" has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.
This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the Corps. With it we also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our Corps from generation and has long been the distinguishing mark of Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the me of our nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as "Soldiers of the Sea" since the founding of the Corps."
You may notice this small table here in a place of honor. It is set for one. This table is our way of symbolizing the act that members of our profession of arms are missing from our midst. The are commonly call P.O.W.'s or M.I.A.'s, we call them brothers.
They are unable to be with us this evening and so we remember them.
This table set for one is small... it symbolizes the frailty of one prisoner against his oppressors.
The table cloth is white... it symbolizes the purity of their intentions to respond to their country's call to arms.
The single rose displayed in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades in arms who keep faith awaiting their return.
The red ribbon tied so prominently on the vase is reminiscent of the red ribbon worn on the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their unyielding determination to demand a proper accounting for our missing.
A slice of lemon is on the bread plate... to remind us of their bitter fate.
There is salt upon the bread plate... symbolic of the family's tears as they wait.
The glass is inverted... they cannot toast with us tonight.
The chair is empty... they are not here.
Remember... all of you who served with them and called them comrades, who depended on their might and aid, and relied on them... for surely... they have not forsaken you