235th Anniversary of United States Marine Corps Commemorated and Celebrated at Multiple Kentucky Events

235th USMC Anniversary Celebrations 2010

Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky, November 2010: Although 235 years have elapsed since the founding of the United States Marine Corps, those who have served, are serving, or have committed to serve, continue to celebrate this venerable anniversary in every clime and place worldwide. The traditions and customs of the Marine Corps in many ways define the Corps and set it apart from other military organizations. These rich traditions give life to our espirit de corps and are the reason we take time to remember and honor our past. One of the most noteworthy of Marine Corps customs and traditions is the observation of the Marine Corps Birthday, on the 10th of November each year. On that date in 1775, the Continental Congress resolved that “…two battalions of Marines be raised…” to participate in the war against Great Britain.  Beginning in 1921 and continuing to the present, Marines set aside November 10th as a day to pay homage to the Corps. The celebration always includes the presentation and cutting of the traditional birthday cake, during which the oldest Marine in attendance is recognized in a symbolic gesture of honor and respect for experience and seniority, while the youngest Marine present  is acknowledged by the oldest Marine as a symbol of those who fill our ranks and renew our Corps. In this manner, the traditions of the Corps are preserved and passed from one generation to the next. So long as this spirit exists, our Corps will flourish and carry on its long legacy of success. Celebrations throughout Kentucky began with a sunrise breakfast on November 10 at Lexington, presided over by the Honorable James E. (Ted) Bassett III, Chairman, Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Kentucky, and graced by the presence of Kentucky native Colonel Matthew L. Jones, USMC, who recently returned from Afghanistan and served as the traditional Guest of Honor.  Colonel Jones, who is currently assigned to Headquarters Marine Corps, is the son of Mr. and Mrs. David A. Jones, Sr., whose silent generosity has blessed the lives of numerous Marine Corps wounded warriors. With only about one percent of our nation’s population directly affected by the ongoing war against global terrorism, it is appropriate that we honor not only our warriors, but also their families, who stand with them in the defense of our nation. Breakfast was concluded with a traditional bourbon toast to the Corps, offered by Marine veteran Frederick J. Seitz. Later that same day, local Marines at Louisville gathered for a celebratory cake cutting reception on 4th Street Live, where Mr. Martin J. Hanse, Sr. was honored for his many years of steadfast support of the Corps and fund raising efforts on behalf of injured Marines nationwide. Major Rory B. Quinn, USMC, Commanding Officer, Marine Corps Recruiting Station Louisville, presided over what will hopefully become an annual tradition for MCCCK members and supporters. On November 13, 2010, hundreds of Marines and their guests celebrated at a Birthday Ball sponsored by the Marine Corps Detachment, U.S. Army Armor Center, Fort Knox, Kentucky; Company E, 4th Tank Battalion, Fort Knox, Kentucky and the Marine Corps League, Kentuckiana Detachment #729, Louisville, Kentucky. Guest of Honor for this event was LtGen Martin R. Steele, USMC (Ret), who returned to Louisville to bid farewell to the Marine Corps Tank Detachment, which will relocate to Fort Benning, Georgia during early 2011 with the U.S. Army Armor School. GySgt Chuck Brown, USMC (Ret), a veteran of World War II, was honored as the oldest Marine present in a very inspirational and impressive ceremony. Those in the process of seeking commissions as Marine Corps officers also celebrated the 235th anniversary of the Marine Corps. Members of the Semper Fidelis Society of the University of Louisville gathered together on the evening of Novermber 10 at a local restaurant to honor and listen to the sage advice of a Marine Corps legend, CWO-4 Hershel “Woody” Williams, USMC (Ret), who received the Medal of Honor for extreme valor during the battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. (Additional photos in “Galleries” section courtesy of Matt Anderson, Keeneland Association; Martin G. Hanse, Sr.; Ed Armento; and Taylor Drescher)