"Once a Marine Always a Marine" A eulogy to Our Fallen Comrades. **
Two hundred and thirty years ago on November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia passed a resolution stating that "two Battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet. This resolution established the Continental Marines and marks the birth date of the United States Marine Corps. Serving on land and sea, these first Marines distinguished themselves in a number of important operations.
Who are these Men and Women we call Marines?
She is a police officer on the beat who spent six months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another - or didn't come back at ALL.
She is the Paris Island Drill Instructor who has never seen combat - but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no account rednecks and city people into Marines, and teaching them to watch each other's backs.
He is the carrier pilot landing on a rolling, pitching, heaving flight deck during a rain squall in the pitch black night of the Tonkin Gulf.
They are the three anonymous heroes in The Tomb of The Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetery must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes whose valor dies unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the oceans deep.
They are Marines who have fought battles in places most people have never heard of: Tripoli, Montezuma, Meuse-Argonne, Belleau Woods, Corregidor, Turk Island, Midway, Saipan, Iwo Jima, In- chon, Khan Shan, Hill 55, Somali, Beirut Lebanon, Iran, Afghanistan and countless others.
But the most outstanding custom in the Marine Corps is simply "being a Marine" and all that it implies. Call it morale, call it esprit de corps, call it what you will-it is that pride which sets a United States Marine apart from the other armed services. It is not taught in manuals, yet it is the most impressive lesson a recruit learns in boot camp. It is not tangible, yet it has won fights against material odds. Perhaps Senator Paul H. Douglas has best defined it"Those of us who have had the privilege of serving in the Marine Corps value our experience as among the most precious of our lives. The fellowship of shared hardships and dangers in worthy cause creates a close bond of comradeship. It is the basic reason for the cohesiveness of Marines and for the pride we have in our corps and our loyalty to each other". These fallen Marines were proud of thier Corps and believed it to be second to none. They were loyal to their comrades and to the Marine Corps, adhering always to the motto Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful).
"Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines."