MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
The birth of every branch of the U.S. military is significant in our nation’s history, but it’s through traditions and legacies those birthdays are carried on. The Marine Corps takes special pride in honoring past and present Marines and their dedication to teamwork with other services by hosting the Joint Daytime Ceremony.
This years event was held at the newly-refurbished Liversedge Field with hundreds in attendance aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Nov. 2. While the Marine Corps celebrated 237 years of existence in 2012, it also celebrated the combined cooperation between the Naval services with the Navy and Coast Guard units aboard the base participating. In past years, Army and Air Force units aboard the base have also joined the celebration and renewed their dedication as well.
The ceremony included representation from units across MCB Camp Lejeune, featuring Marines wearing historical uniforms, and the cutting and passing of the Marine Corps birthday cake.
“Re-dedication of the core values, traditions and virtues of the Marine Corps is what this event is all about,” said Lt. Cmdr. John Rudd, chaplain for the Deployment Processing Center aboard the base who delivered the invocation for the ceremony.
This event is designed to “break down the barriers” between services and the animosity that sometimes inevitably occurs between branches, said Rudd.
Many Marines know the basics of Marine Corps history, but often times it ends there. In order to broaden the minds of those who attended, a historical pageant was presented as part of the ceremony.
Marines dressed in authentic attire from the periods they represented, which illustrated the evolution of the uniforms and weaponry used in the battles of past wars.
“It’s fun to see all my friends in uniform, especially ones I’ve never seen before,” said Pfc. Phillip Bacon, a Marine stationed aboard Camp Johnson. “It’s an honor to be in this ceremony. The uniforms may look different on the outside, but on the inside, there’s still a Marine.”
Bacon was dressed in a uniform worn by Union soldiers during the Civil War.
“On occasion I’ve been the oldest Marine at the ceremony and it is a great honor and a great joy,” said Sgt. Maj. Ernest K. Hoopii, sergeant major of Marine Corps Installations East - MCB Camp Lejeune, who took part in the cake cutting during the ceremony. “For someone likely just out of training, and to be the youngest Marine in the unit or command, taking part in the ceremony must be amazing.”
“We don’t pick on any part of our service, we’re all Marines,” said Hoopii. “We developed ourselves a long time ago to come together and fight as a team and the ceremony is a way to honor that teamwork.”
For 237 years Marines carried on the traditions and values that make up the Marine Corps, and with another year passing, the Marines, sailors and coast guardsmen in attendance at the Joint Daytime Ceremony carry on the honor of fighting side by side in battle once again.