I can’t begin to appreciate the pride shared by members of the Marine Corps. No matter what you do for the rest of your life, whether you’re a Senator or a janitor, you’re always a Marine. There are no “ex-Marines.”
It’s a pride that’s came into being in November, 1775 when the Continental Congress authorized the creation of two battalions of Continental Marines. The legend grew after the Marines battled the Barbary pirates in an action memorialized in the first line of the Marine Hymn: “…to the shores of Tripoli.”
The Marines went ashore on the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Cuba during the Spanish-American War…earned the nickname “Devil Dogs” at the battle of Belleau Wood in World War I…and served with great success throughout the Pacific during World War II, notably raising the flag signaling the victory at Iwo Jima. The legend grew through the hostilities in Korea, in the jungles of Vietnam, and now in the mountains of Afghanistan.
America can count on the Marines because they are always faithful – “semper fidelis” – to fulfill their mission. As a country, we are extremely blessed that they are on our side.
We will always be in their debt. And they will always be the few. The proud. The Marines.