Non incautus futuri

A Washington & Lee junior and Marine Officer Candidate in Spain

Happy Birthday, Marines

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Sorry to interrupt the Spain blogging, but today deserves a special post. Because 236 years ago today, the world’s finest fighting organization was born.

The Marines — leathernecks, devil dogs, “no better friends, no worse enemies”– have served with honor and distinction in every American armed conflict. Belleau Wood, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Chosin Reservoir, Hue City, Fallujah: the Marine Corps sanctified these places with blood and sacrifice. And it has sustained itself through honor, courage, and commitment.

This year is particularly special, because it also marks 10 years of continuous war. For 10 years, the armed services have borne the brunt of heavy fighting and constant deployments. Those sacrifices are unequal. As one anonymous sign in a forward operating base said: “America is not at war. The Marine Corps is at war. America is at the mall.”

In the words of Lieutenant General John Kelly:

“It is a fact that our country today is in a life and death struggle against an evil enemy, but America as a whole is certainly not at war. Not as a country. Not as a people. Today, only a tiny fraction-­‐less than a percent-­‐shoulder the burden of fear and sacrifice, and they shoulder it for the rest of us. Their sons and daughters who serve are men and women of character who continue to believe in this country enough to put life and limb on the line without qualification, and without thought of personal gain, and they serve so that the sons and daughters of the other 99% don’t have to. No big deal, though, as Marines have always been “the first to fight” paying in full the bill that comes with being free…for everyone else…

We can also take comfort in the fact that these young Americans are not born killers, but are good and decent young men and women who for going on ten years have performed remarkable acts of bravery and selflessness to a cause they have decided is bigger and more important than themselves. Only a few months ago they were delivering your paper, stocking shelves in the local grocery store, worshiping in church on Sunday, or playing hockey on local ice. Like my own two sons who are Marines and have fought in Iraq, and today in Sangin, Afghanistan, they are also the same kids that drove their cars too fast for your liking, and played the God-­‐awful music of their generation too loud, but have no doubt they are the finest of their generation. Like those who went before them in uniform, we owe them everything. We owe them our safety. We owe them our prosperity. We owe them our freedom. We owe them our lives. Any one of them could have done something more self-­‐ serving with their lives as the vast majority of their age group elected to do after high school and college, but no, they chose to serve knowing full well a brutal war was in their future. They did not avoid the basic and cherished responsibility of a citizen-­‐the defense of country-­‐they welcomed it. They are the very best this country produces, and have put every one of us ahead of themselves. All are heroes for simply stepping forward, and we as a people owe a debt we can never fully pay. Their legacy will be of selfless valor, the country we live in, the way we live our lives, and the freedoms the rest of their countrymen take for granted.”

Indomitable Spirit: The 236th Marine Corps Birthday Message

Message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, and the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps, Sgt. Maj. Barrett.

Marine 9/11 Rap

This video was made shortly after 9/11 by a Marine staff sergeant.

May God bless the United States Marine Corps, and keep our Marines in harm’s way safe.

Semper Fidelis, and Happy Birthday.

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Written by Lee

November 10, 2011 at 14:00

Posted in Marine Corps

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