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Marine Corps celebrates 238th birthday on Nov. 10

By Sepp Ramsperger
Special to The SUN

On 10 November 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution to raise two Battalions of American Marines.

The first commissioned officer was Captain Samuel Nicholson, the owner of Tunn Tavern, in Philadelphia. This inn became the first Recruiting Station.

The Marines, in time, evolved from ship-based fighters to become the elite of the United States Armed Forces. The Corps is a relatively small service, but it really has fought from the “Shores of Tripoli to the Halls of Montezuma,” and in other places with strange names — Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Chosin, Da Nang, Kuwait — made meaningful because Americans in Marine uniforms have died there.

Today, if you are abroad and walk into an American Embassy, the first person you are likely to face is a Marine. As you watch the President of the United States arriving on the White House lawn, the pilot of that helicopter is a Marine. And when war threatens, the Armed Service that lives the motto “First to Fight” is the United States Marine Corps.

The Marines’ effect rests best in stanzas of their hymn, “From the Halls of Montezuma.”

“Our flag’s unfurled to every breeze,

From dawn to setting sun;

We have fought in every clime and place

Where we could take a gun.

In the sun of far-off Norther lands

And in sunny tropic scenes;

You will find us always on the job-

The United States Marines.”

For this extensive history, the Marines celebrated their birth with a party each Nov. 10. Come join us commencing 1800 at the PLPOA Clubhouse. Call Colonel Sepp Ramsperger, USMC (Ret.) at 731-4824, or Rick Taylor at 264-6780, for information and reservations.

Semper Fidelis.

This story was posted on November 7, 2013.