(Archive - Week of November 6, 2004)

United States Marine Corps
Happy 229th Birthday -
10 November 2004
Creation and History

Marine Corps emblem

The United States Marine Corps (USMC) is the second-smallest of the five branches of the United States armed forces, (The United States Coast Guard is the smallest.) The Corps serves as a versatile combat element, adapted to a wide variety of combat operations.

Its original purpose, giving it the name Marine Corps, comprised the provision naval infantry (combat forces serving aboard naval vessels), and carrying out amphibious operations from the sea onto land. The Marines fully developed and used the latter tactic in World War II, most notably in the Pacific Island Campaign. I was there.

The Marine Corps is part of the Department of the Navy. It is not part of the United States Navy, but the two services work closely together. The Marine Corps has a reputation as a fierce and effective fighting force, and is famous for the fact that U.S. Marines have never resorted to a full, large-scale retreat (although the Chosin Reservoir combat of 1951 was a fighting withdrawal).

The U.S. Marine Corps first appeared as the "Continental Marines" during the American Revolutionary War, formed by a resolution of the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775. They served as landing troops for the recently created Continental Navy. The Continental Marines were disbanded at the end of the war in April 1783, but reformed on July 11,1798. Despite the gap, Marines celebrate November 10 as the Marine Corps Birthday.

Historically, the United States Marine Corps has achieved fame in several campaigns, as referenced in the first line of the Marine Corps Hymn: "From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli". In the early 19th century, First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon led a group of seven Marines in deposing the dictator of Tripoli (thereby restoring the rightful ruler). Separately, the Marines took part in the Mexican-American War (1846 - 1848).

After these early 19th-century engagements, the Marine Corps occupied a small role in American military history. Seeing little significant action in the American Civil War, the Marines would later become prominent due to their deployment in small wars around the world. The Marines consolidated their experience during this period in the Small Wars Manual.

In World War I, the battle-tested veteran Marines served a central role in the U.S. entry into the conflict, and at the Battle of Belleau Wood. Marine units were in the front, winning the Marines a reputation as the "First to Fight." This battle cemented the reputation of the Marines in modern history. Rallying under the battle cries of "Retreat hell! We just got here!" and "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?" the Marines violently expelled German forces from the area. The Germans referred to the Marines in the battle as "Teufelhunde," literally, "Devil Dogs," a nickname Marines proudly hold to this day.

Iwo Jima Memorial, Washington, D.C.

In World War II, the Marines played a central role in the war for East Asia and the Pacific. The battles of Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester, Peleliu, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa saw fierce fighting between U.S. Marines and the Japanese Imperial Marines.

Pfc. Ira H. Hayes, USMC
Pfc. Ira H. Hayes, a Pima, at age 19, ready to jump, Marine Corps Paratroop School. One of the four Marines in the lwo Jima flag-raising photograph. U.S. Marine Corps photograph, 1943.


We must remember our Veterans on 11 November 2004
History of Veterans Day

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day to remind Americans of the tragedies of war. The fighting in World War I had ended a year earlier, at 11 A.M., November 11, 1918 (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month).

Two years later on Armistice Day, an unknown American World War I soldier was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., in the Tomb of the Unknowns. Thousands of people came to watch the elaborate ceremonies that took place. Similar ceremonies had taken place the previous year in England and France: an unknown English soldier was buried in Westminster Abbey in London, and an unknown French soldier was buried at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

In 1926, Congress passed a resolution calling for the observance of Armistice Day in schools, churches, and other suitable places. Twelve years later the day was designated as a national holiday. In 1939, a year after Armistice Day became a national holiday, World War II broke out in Europe. The start of this war ended the idealistic hopes that World War I was "the war to end all wars." Over four hundred thousand American troops died in World War II.

After the Korean War (1950-1953), during which over 36,000 Americans died, Congress considered making Armistice Day a day to commemorate veterans of all wars, not only those who served in World War I. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming the holiday a remembrance of all wars and changing its name to Veterans Day.

A law passed in 1968 moved the Veterans Day celebration to the fourth Monday in October. However, the original date, November 11, was historically significant to many Americans, and ten years later the observation of Veterans Day returned to its original date.

Benjamin Franklin diverts an idle hour

In December 1775, an "American Guesser" anonymously wrote to the Pennsylvania Journal:

"I observed on one of the drums belonging to the marines now raising, there was painted a Rattle-Snake, with this modest motto under it, 'Don't tread on me.' As I know it is the custom to have some device on the arms of every country, I supposed this may have been intended for the arms of America."

Our young Americans are dying in Iraq for ego of George W. Bush

The message below was emailed to me from a friend, and I agree totally with his opinion. As we all know the U.S. Marines have been in many war battles defending our country since 1775, but the American military should not have died fighting George W. Bush Iraq War.

“What a waste of our young men and women. Not one death in Iraq was necessary. They were sacrificed in vain as Bush pretended they were fighting to make the U.S. safer. They are now being sacrificed in vain as Bush pretends he is bringing liberty/freedom to Iraq. They are being sacrificed in vain as Bush blasphemes God by inanely repeating ‘Liberty is God's gift to the world.' Flip Wilson used to say, ‘The Devil made me do it.' Bush is implying that ‘God made me do it.' This has become the excuse for sacrificing our young men after all the original excuses (WMD, Iraq connections with terrorists, Iraq is a threat to the U.S.) have all been proven false.

Our military men and women are brave and patriotic. They are true heroes. This does not change the fact that their bravery, patriotism, and heroism is being misused by our leaders. It does not change the sad, ugly fact that every death of one of these heroes has been a death that served no purpose.”


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