238 years ago, Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, Greatest Fraternity ever formed.
For those of you unfamiliar with the above, Today is the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Samuel Nicholas was the innkeeper there, pints were had, and shortly the USMC had its first recruitment drive occurred. That evening two battalions were raised. Nicholas went on to become the first Commandant
Most people only have one birthday. A lucky and deserving few have two. A close friend of mine was trying to explain to his girlfriend why I had wished him a happy birthday in November when his birthday is in January, and this is what he had to say. “There is the day when I came into this world, and there is the day I became a man. The latter is celebrated on November 10th.” She was still a little confused and he had to explain further about that historic day at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia.
November 10th 1775 was the beginning of a rich and colorful history of one of the most famous fighting forces in the history of the world. One of the most enlightening quotes about the USMC has often been attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt: “The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!”
At any birthday ball there is a tradition that General Leguene’s birthday message is read. And no Birthday is complete without that message.
On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Since that date, many thousand men have borne the 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 will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world’s history. During 90 of the 146 years of it’s existence the Marine Corps has been in action against the nations foes. From the battle of Trenton to the Argonne. Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras 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 that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.
In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our 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 to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the 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 men 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.
If you know one or see one today tell ’em happy birthday. Maybe even buy ’em a drink.
Semper Fi and Happy Birthday Devil Dogs.