It was a day of remembrance and celebration this past Sunday.

More than 30 local United States Marines of all ages celebrated the Marine Corps' 244th birthday at Buzzard's Bay Brewery in Westport. Men and women, family and friends, all gathered together to reminisce and honor the camaraderie, loyalty, dedication and history of one of the toughest, meanest and well-respected branches in the U.S. Military.

First Lieutenant and son to the owners of Buzzards Bay Brewing, Josh Bruins, assisted in reading a manuscript signifying the birthday of the U.S.M.C. from the "Marine of Marines" by Marine Lieutenant General John A. Lejeune:

"On November 10, 1775, a Corps of Marines was created by a resolution of Continental Congress. Since that date, many thousand men have borne the name 'Marine.' In memory of them it is fitting that we who are Marines should commemorate the birthday of our corps by calling to mind the glories of its long and illustrious history.

The record of our corps is one which will bear comparison with that of the most famous military organizations in the world's history. During 90 of the 146 years of its existence, the Marine Corps has been in action against the Nation's foes. From the Battle of Trenton to the Argonne, Marines have won foremost honors in war, and in the long eras of tranquility at home, generation after generation of Marines have grown gray in war in both hemispheres and in every corner of the seven seas, that our country and its citizens might enjoy peace and security.

In every battle and skirmish since the birth of our corps, Marines have acquitted themselves with the greatest distinction, winning new honors on each occasion until the term 'Marine' has come to signify all that is highest in military efficiency and soldierly virtue.

This high name of distinction and soldierly repute we who are Marines today have received from those who preceded us in the corps. With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age. So long as that spirit continues to flourish Marines will be found equal to every emergency in the future as they have been in the past, and the men of our Nation will regard us as worthy successors to the long line of illustrious men who have served as 'Soldiers of the Sea' since the founding of the Corps." — Major General Commandant, John A. Lejeune

Following the reading, two local Marines were called up to the front of the group – one being the oldest of the group and the other the youngest. Eighty-four-year-old Korean War vet Claude Ledoux was joined by 24-year-old Afghanistan vet Nick Lapointe to perform the honorary cutting of the Marines' birthday cake.

Ledoux picked up the Mameluke sword, a weapon wielded by U.S. Marines Corps Officers, and with assistance from Lapointe sliced into the cake, cutting two pieces for the two of them to enjoy in a sign of respect and honor, before passing out to the remainder of the crowd.

Two hundred and forty-four years of a well-oiled machine, a branch of the United States military that will forever go down in history as the first line of defense and the last to surrender, until death will they part.

Semper Fi, Marines. Thank you for your courageous and selfless acts to protect this country we are all proud to call America.


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