Today marks the 236th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Formed in the "hallowed halls" of Tun Tavern in 1775, the Marines have spent over two centuries building and reinforcing their reputation as one of America's finest fighting forces. From the early days of battling Barbary Pirates to recent engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Marines have always been ready to answer the call.
It's difficult to put into words exactly what it means to bear the title "Marine." It's more than just belonging to a world-wide fraternity and certainly much more than becoming a warrior. It's a designation that is seared onto the soul and forever marks you as a member of a very small, but very passionate group. The bond that forms between Marines spans generations. It is one that is forged in the heat of combat, the sacrifice of time and blood, and the shared understanding that out of everyone in this nation, they few chose to sign their name on the dotted line.
And, of course:
So on this, the 236th birthday of our Corps, let us remember the sacrifices of those who went before, the sacrifices of those currently serving, and the burning desire of those hoping to one day earn the title of "Marine." It may not be easy, but ask anyone who bears the title and they'll tell you it's worth it.
Semper Fi, Marines, and Happy Birthday.
*image courtesy of: http://usmclogo.net/.
**image courtesy of: http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/docs-paper-items-photos-propaganda/marine-recruiting-poster-15902/
***image courtesy of: http://www.acidus.com/MarinePosters2.html