JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The U.S. Marine Corps celebrated its 241st birthday one day early at Camp Lejeune with a special ceremony attended by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who spoke on the importance of the young Marines.
“They are the rightful heirs to the 241 years of Marines who preceded them,” Mabus said. “The Marine Corps is the most powerful expeditionary fighting force the world has ever known, and they’re the reason. It’s their responsibility to make sure that never changes.”
Per tradition, Marines presented the 2016 Marine Corps birthday cake, with the oldest active marine receiving the first slice and then passing it onto the youngest active Marine on base.
Brig. Gen. Thomas Weidley, Camp Lejeune’s commanding general, remarked on the importance of keeping the tradition and spirit of the Marines alive.
“This is an opportunity to get with our Marines and have them remember those who’ve gone before,” said Weidley. “Those battles; those amazing marines who were out here today wearing the uniforms of our legacy.”
On the field, Marines marched in uniforms from years past, starting with the 1700s to the Civil War, World War Two and present day.
The pageant was meant to remind attendees the Marine Corp’s future was as bright then as it is today.