On November 10th, 1775, the Continental Congress of the fledgling nation that would become the United States, authorized two battalions of Marines to serve our fleet during the American Revolution. We Marines consider this date the "birthday" of our Corps.
Beginning with a recruitment drive at Tun Tavern, in Philadelphia, Captain Samuel Nicholas, our first commandant began filling our ranks with most dedicated men (and later, women) this country has produced, from his time to ours.
Today is a day that Marines old and new, young and old, greet each other with handshakes and a hearty "Happy Birthday, Marine!"... it is a day where we tell old stories from places that we served, and people that we served with. It is a day of joy, as much as it is a day of sadness.
Whenever Marines get together and tell their stories, we remember our whole history and our record of combat service to our nation, from Providence, The Bahamas to Chapultepec castle; from Tripoli to Haiti; From Iwo Jima to Khe Sahn; and from Grenada to Fallujah. In our stories we remember our heroes... famous men like John Basilone, Chesty Puller, Dan Daly, and Smedley Butler, as well as men most of you have never heard of, like Nicholas Manoukian, who is pictured here, and remembered here. Those fallen Marines are our brothers, every bit as much as all Marines are brothers (and sisters).
So, today, while I go about my business, and greet the many old Marines that I work with, and those I meet in the course of the day, I will remember our history, take pride in our accomplishments and dedication to service... and I will remember, solemnly, the sacrifices made by so many that have gone before.
Gunfighter (USMC 1981-1989)