Marine Corps Turns 230 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/10/05

Marine Corps Turns 230

Veterans Day is tomorrow, but today Marines around the world are celebrating the Marine Corps' 230th birthday. And that's a big deal for Marines serving in Beaufort and across the globe.

It's a day Marines look forward to each and every year. "They never change," said Col. Robert Walsh. "Every day my heart pounds a little stronger than on another day, and it's just one of those days Marines should look forward to. And it's even better than your own birthday because we all celebrate together."

"It's a great sense of camaraderie, because you know everyone in the whole Marine Corps around the world, they're celebrating this birthday," said Lance Cpl. John Clegg.

As part of the traditional birthday celebration, the oldest and youngest Marine at each installation is recognized. Col. Robert Lanham explained, "We give the first piece [of birthday cake] to our oldest Marine. That's to pay homage to traditions and all those who have come before us, the legacy they've left us."

The second piece goes to the youngest Marine. "That's symbolic of us passing the torch to the next generation so they can uphold the traditions and fighting spirit of the Marine Corps," said Col. Lanham.

As the oldest Marine at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Master Gunnery Sgt. Alan Edmond says he's seen a lot of changes in the corps. "The structure. I've seen a lot of equipment come and go, new aircraft, new tools of the trade, a whole lot of field gear."

Although things may have changed throughout the years, Marines young and old say the spirit of the corps is still alive, and many say the young Marines are a big part of that.

"I do think their dedication and their commitment, I think that runs deep and that hasn't changed over the years," Master Gunnery Sgt. Edmond told us.

Although the corps actually began on this day in 1775, the formal commemoration of the birthday didn't start until 1921. Today, the post office unveiled four new stamps honoring four legendary Marines.

Reported by: Jaime Dailey, jdailey@wtoc.com

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