When I was nineteen, I was swept off my feet by a dashing young Marine. This man was stationed in Virginia, but traveled home to PA to visit his family. He walked into the restaurant where I was working between college semesters. He wore a blue and white stripped short-sleeved shirt, blue trousers, and white shoes. The shallow creature that I was, I took one look at him and determined I was going to spend the rest of my life with him. We celebrated 19 years of marriage two weeks ago.
Our first formal date was to the United States Marine Corps birthday ball in Quantico, Virginia. Here are some facts about the USMC birthday:
*In 1921, General John Lejeune issused Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921 that summarized the history, mission, and tradition of the USMC and directed that the order be read to all Marines on November 10 each year to honor the founding of the USMC.
* In 1925, the first formal birthday ball took place in Philadelphia, PA with such distinguished guests as the Commandant, the Secretary of War, statesmen, and elected officials.
*In 1952, the cake-cutting ceremony was formalized. USMC policy mandates the first piece of cake must be presented to the oldest Marine present and the second goes to the youngest Marine present. The Commandant’s birthday message is read to the Marines during the festivities.
No matter where Marines, former and present, are gathered, they still remember what November 10th means to them. Happy birthday, Marines! Who-Rah!