Monday, November 10, 2014

The Few, The Proud, The 239 Year Olds

On this day in 1775 the Continental Congress established the United States Marine Corps. The world has been a better place ever since.

The Few. The Proud. The Marines.
Tuesday is Veterans Day, a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. We salute them all. But today belongs to the United States Marines, marking the 239th birthday of the Corps.
On March 20, 1779, Captain William Jones of the Continental Marines placed a recruiting advertisement in The Providence Gazette (digital banner ads being unavailable at the time), which read in part “The Continental ship Providence, now lying at Boston, is bound on a short cruise, immediately; a few good men are wanted to make up her complement.” If you want a celebrity endorsement regarding that practice, it was George Washington who later commented, “It is infinitely better to have a few good men than many indifferent ones.”

So to the complement of those few good men, past and present, we say “Happy Birthday.”

And (as is traditional) “Semper Fi, brothers.”
Here is perhaps the best quote ever about the Corps:
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!
Eleanor Roosevelt, First Lady of the United States, 1945
And here are words we would all do well to repeat:
Eternal Father, we commend to Thy protection and care the members of the Marine Corps. Guide and direct them in the defense of our country and in the maintenance of justice among nations. Protect them in the hour of danger. Grant that wherever they serve they may be loyal to their high traditions and that at all times they may put their trust in Thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
—Marine Corps Prayer by Bishop Sherrill, former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and hero of WW I.


Old NFO said...

Yep, 239 years, and STILL in the bar... :-) Semper Fi Marines!

CenTexTim said...

Why mess up a good thing? :-)