Marines observe 236 years of history

MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga., (November 17, 2011)  — Marines and civilian-Marines from Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany and Marine Corps Logistics Command, as well as other invited guests, celebrated the Marine Corps' 236th birthday, Nov. 10, at Darton College in Albany, Ga.

Marines, in their dress blue uniforms, and guests, in their evening attire, gathered in Darton's gymnasium for a night of camaraderie as they enjoyed a ceremony, dinner and dance.

However, not only was this a night of celebration, it was also one of reflection as the guests watched a message from Gen. James F. Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps, which drew parallels between the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the attack on Pearl Harbor. The video comprised of World War II veterans recounting their shock of the Japanese surprise attack while present-day Marines discussed their reactions to the terror attacks in 2001. Two of the Marines in the video were first responders to the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center in New York.

Historical reflection was not limited to the commandant's message. Guests also enjoyed a pageant of Marines wearing period uniforms of the Corps' 236-year history, beginning with the American Revolution and ending with current operations overseas.

During the pageant, two Marines representing World War II stepped front and center before the audience with an  original Montford Point Marine, Henry L. Jackson.

Montford Point, N.C., was home to African-American Marine recruits between 1942 and 1949 during a period of segregation in the Marine Corps. Jackson, among other African-American Marines who trained at Montford Point, recently received the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian honor.

"This was actually my first Marine Corps Birthday Ball to attend," Jackson said. "When I was in the Marine Corps, this was something that I had never heard about, but I appreciate this experience. So many people thanked me for my service as a Montford Point Marine and it was great to be honored."

As with any Marine Corps Birthday Ball, there was also a ceremonial cake-cutting, a tradition representing the passing of experience from the oldest generation to the youngest.

Maj. Gen. Charles L. Hudson, commanding general, Logistics Command, passed the first piece of cake to the guest of honor, retired Lt. Gen. Richard S. Kramlich. Hudson also gave a piece of cake to the oldest Marine present, Col. Drexel Heard, director, Distribution Management Center, Logistics Command, who then passed it to the youngest Marine, Lance Cpl. Nicole Dickinson, ammunition technician, Logistics Supply Division, MCLB Albany.

"I was honored to be the youngest Marine here," Dickinson, who was born in 1992, said. "Not because it was just handed to me, but because of the meaning that was behind the passing of the cake."

Kramlich, a former commanding general of Marine Corps Logistics Bases, here, a gave the evening's speech. Reflection was Kramlich's theme and he asked the Marines present to not only reflect, but also to consider what makes a Marine.

"Not only do we take this night to celebrate, but we also use it to remember, reflect and rededicate ourselves," Kramlich said. "We capitalize the word Marine for a reason. We capitalize it because we've earned it. We win battles and make Marines, that is the spirit that animates us."

 

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