Tuesday, November 10, 2020

To the Shores of Tripoli

They have existed for 245 years; born of the Continental Congress before the country was founded and while the Colonies were subjects of the British Crown.  Although they fought in the Revolution, their most famous engagement was during this Country’s first declared war; a war against Islamic Extremists, known as the Pirates of the Barbary Coast.  Everyone who has heard their hymn knows oft “the shores of Tripoli;” but the battle referred to was not in Tripoli, it was in Derna- a fortified town down the coast.  

They fought on the beaches and in the jungles of Wake, Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Saipan, Guam and Iwo Jima- along with many other arils and rocks in the Pacific , only to return to a country with a President and Secretary of Defense  who believed them unnecessary, wanted them disbanded and cut their budgets severely. While underfunded and under equipped, they were sent ashore in Korea, and proved again to the Congress just how vital to this country they are.

They are known for being the first in, and the last out.   They stand post in very US Embassy around the world.  And every time an Embassy has been attacked, they are the last line of defense.  

They are, the few, the proud, the United States Marines.  

In 2001, while living in Japan, I was honored with an invitation to the Independence Day party and welcome for the new Ambassador at the United States Embassy Tokyo.  I never expected I would “feel” different when I stepped through the gate, and a young Marine welcomed me to the United States of America.    In every country I have traveled too, regardless of the political situation, I have always known that now matter what happened,  if I could make it to the Embassy, I would be in the presence of US Marines.  

In August 2009, I was accorded a tremendous honor.  I attended graduation ceremonies at Marine Corp Recruiting Depot, San Diego.  From that day forward, I have been able to proudly say, “I raised a United States Marine.”

Happy Marine Corp Birthday, to all Marines, past and present, wherever you may be.  

From the Navy Hymn (Eternal Father, Strong to Save):

Eternal Father, grant, we pray,
To all Marines, both night and day,
The courage, honor, strength and skill
Their land to serve, Thy law fulfill;
Be Thou the Shield forevermore
From ev'ry peril to the Corps.



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