Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Marine Corps celebrates 238th birthday

HURLEY - Members of the Gogebic-Iron Detachment of the Marine Corps League celebrated the 238th birthday of the United States Marine Corps on Sunday. More than 30 Marines, former Marines, and their guests attended the event.

This year is also the 70th anniversary of the 2nd Marine Division landing on Tarawa, the 45th anniversary of the Battle of Hue City, and the 10th anniversary of the "March Up" to Baghdad.

Festivities began with a posting of the colors, the Pledge of Allegiance, and the singing of the "Marine's Hymn."

"I remember marching in boot camp with 80 other men singing the hymn," GIDMCL Commandant Gary Kusz said. "It raises the hair on the back of your neck."

The oldest retired Marine present, Carl Stolt, cut the birthday cake with a ceremonial sword. Stolt was honored with the first piece, with the second going to the youngest Marine present, Colt St. Arnold.

Kusz read Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's Proclamation of Nov. 10 as Marine Corps Birthday Celebration Day, along with messages from General of the USMC James A. Amos and National Commandant of the Marine Corps League, Jim Tuohy.

"...each year on November 10th, the Marines from all generations gather together, in groups large and small, to celebrate the birthday of our Corps, and to reflect on the proud legacy and warrior ethos we share.

"This is what unites us as Marines. From our first battle ant New Providence to today in Afghanistan, Marines have always shown that they were made of tougher stuff-that when the enemy's fire poured in from all angles and the situation was grim, Marines unequivocally knew that their fellow Marines would stay behind their guns, fight courageously and drive the enemy from the battlefield. We have always known hardship, fatigue, pain..but we have never known what it is to lose a battle!" Amos said.

Local GIDMCL members have served in Korea, Vietnam, and Afghanistan, Kusz said. Many went on to serve in other branches of the military after the Marine Corps, such as the National Guard, Kusz said, where he served 24 years before retiring as a first sergeant.