Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps, who are on this day 242 years old. This branch of the Armed Forces of the United States has a long and distinguished history. They will always have a special place in my heart, because my father was a Marine in World War II.
The Marine Corps is a family, and I saw this clearly one day, when my father was dying of cancer. His body had become a tiny version of the man he had been. He had taken to wearing his Marine Corps cap, and two young men in their uniforms, clearly just out of boot camp, saw him. We had been out for a small meal in my home town of Easton, PA, and they approached him and began a conversation with him about his experiences. Then one young man asked me with complete courtesy if it was okay if they borrowed him for a few hours, simply to talk with an older Marine. My father was delighted, and I knew he was in good hands. I came back later that afternoon to pick him up, and he was still there talking with the two youngsters.
When he stood to go, they saluted him. My heart was full, and I saw the great joy these two young men had given to a mortally ill, elderly man they had never known before. When he was leaving, they exchanged, “Semper Fi.”
Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps.