Kentucky Marines Celebrate Anniversary of Marine Corps at Multiple Balls, Breakfast, O'Bannon Grave, Former Commandant's Memorial, and "Tun Tavern Kentucky"

236th USMC Anniversary Celebrations 2011

Lexington,  Louisville, and Fort Knox, Kentucky; November 2011: Once again, Marines throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky gathered together to commemorating the 236th anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps. 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. It is always fitting to recall the significance of the 10th of Novemebr 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.  Celebrations throughout Kentucky began with a sunrise breakfast on November 10 at Lexington, presided over for the 27th consecutive year by Mr. James E. (Ted) Bassett III, Chairman, Marine Corps Coordinating Council of Kentucky, and graced by the presence of Kentucky native Major Lauren S. Edwards, USMC, a veteran of both Iraq and Afghanistan. Major Edwards was the "Guest of Honor" and keynote speaker, as Kentucky Marines recognized the important role that Women Marines are playing in the Global War on Terror. Major Edwards, who currently serves as Commanding Officer, Marine Corps Recruiting Station Charleston (West Virginia), was commissioned a "Kentucky Colonel" by Ted Bassett following her meaningful and memorable remarks. Separate celebrations were held at Lexington (Marriott Griffin Gate Hotel), Fort Knox  (Leaders' Club) and Louisville (Crowne Plaza Airport), as Marines of Military Police Company "A" (Lexington), Tank Company "E" (Fort Knox), and Recruiting Station Louisville respectively  gathered together for traditional cake cutting ceremonies at their unit's Birthday Ball. On the evening of 10 November, local Louisville area Marines again gathered for a celebratory cake cutting and traditional toasting at "Tun Tavern Kentucky," staged this year at an Irish pub on 4th Street Live, complete with a Marine Corps bag piper (Joe Dodson) and a hard cider toast (MSgt Jay Taylor, USMCR).  In a most unique commemoration of the birthday of our Corps, officer candidates from multiple Kentucky colleges joined with the Officer Selection Team for a cake cutting ceremony at  the Frankfort grave of Lt Presley N. O'Bannon, USMC, who in 1805, led a small band of Marines against raised the Barbary pirates at Derne and raised the stars and stripes for the first time on foreign soil ("Shores of Tripoli"), securing for generations of Marine officers to follow, the Mameluke sword,  which Lt O'Bannon received as a token of appreciation for the role that Marines played in the War of Tripoli. Members of the Marine Corps League (Department of Kentucky) gather annually on the lawn of the Lincoln County Courthouse in Stanford, in honor of LtCol Anthony Gale, 4th Commandant of Marine Corps, who retired to Kentucky, where he died in 1843. This is in accordance with Marine Corps tradition that all deceased  Commandants be honored annually on the birthday of our Corps. (Photograph by Ed Armento. Additional photos in "Galleries" section, courtesy of Sgt Daniel Angel, USMC, Marketing and Public Affairs, MCRSL; Capt Michael Masters, USMC, Officer Selection Officer (Lexington);  Jennifer Armento, MCCCK Webmaster;  and Ed Armento, MCCCK Secretary)