Great sense of pride;Barracks Marines remember birth, sacrfices

10 Nov 2003 | Cpl. Nathan A. Tiller

On Nov. 10, 1775, an act by the Continental Congress established the Continental Marines, giving rise to the United States Marine Corps. Two hundred and twenty eight years later, the Corps is stronger than ever; Marines never forgetting to remember those who have gone before and thanking them for what they've done.For leathernecks stationed at Marine Barracks, "8th and I", Washington, D.C., this sense of belonging is even greater. It is here where the Corps began to prove itself, with Marines fighting the British during the Revolutionary War and later standing the test yet again during the War of 1812 at the Battle of Bladensburg, just a few miles from our Nation's Capitol.To commemorate our founding, Marines from the Barracks held a mid-day parade and wreath-laying ceremony Nov. 10 at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va. After a performance by "The President's Own" United States Marine Corps Band, Barracks Marines marched out onto the parade deck to pay tribute to all those Marines past and present who were in attendance. The guest of honor, 30th commandant, retired general Carl E. Mundy Jr. shared his thoughts on the current state of the Corps."Sometimes we spend so much time trying to carry a tune, we forget about the meaning of the words," he said, before reciting and reflecting upon the Marine Corps' Hymn. He then made note of America's pride and gratefulness for the services we as a Corps provide. The solemn former commandant said it's because of the contributions of Marines past and present that the Marine Corps is what it is today.After speaking, he joined current Commandant, Gen. Michael W. Hagee and Barracks Commander, Col. Daniel P. O'Brien in the honor party, for their walk across the parade deck to lay a wreath at the foot of the memorial.For "8th and I" devil dogs, having this responsibility to put on such a show adds to their deep-rooted sense of duty and honor, making the Corps' birthday more than just another day. It's Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's wrapped into one.This ceremony-filled time of year for the Corps doesn't just have meaning for active duty or reserve Marines. Veterans and those who value the sacrifices our men and women in uniform make also take great pride in celebrating the history of the Corps."Once a Marine, always a Marine. This is our day," said former gunnery sergeant Jerome S. Sonnier. "Camaraderie, old friends...friends who are no longer here."The actions of those Marines before us fuel our quest, make our job easier and never fail to motivate us through any and every situation. For their sake, and ours, we must never forget. And the Marines stationed here don't.