Happy birthday to the United States Marine Corps. On November 10, 1775 a resolution by the Second Continental Congress called for two battalions of Marines to be raised. From this resolution, our current Marine Corps was founded. Since then, the Corps has established itself as one of the preeminent fighting forces in the world today. Throughout its storied history, the Marine Corps has engaged in many famous battles, such as Tripoli, Belleau Wood, Iwo Jima, and the Chosin Reservoir. In these battles, Marines have acted with courage and valor – building the well-earned reputation the Corps holds today.
The roll call is long and distinguished. What Marine hasn’t heard stories of Chesty Puller, Dan Daly, Smedley Butler, Archibald Henderson, John Basilone or John A. Lejeune? These legendary Marines are the past that the Corps’ future is built upon. And all Marines, past and present, belong to that brotherhood that has been forged by the honor, courage, and committment of its chosen few.
Today, as I pause and reflect upon the great contributions that have been made by those who have worn the Marine Corps uniform, I offer congratulations on 232 proud years of service. And to those Marines serving today, I offer my traditional toast:
May your coffin be made of one-hundred year-old oak. And may the tree that oak comes from be planted tomorrow.