Marines celebrate 235th birthday

By Jaime Dailey - bio | email

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) - Marines at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort celebrated the Corps 235th Birthday with a traditional cake cutting ceremony. The first piece of cake goes to the oldest Marine and then it is passed onto the youngest Marine.

"The Marine Corps Birthday is a time we come together as Marines, remember those past and present, those who gave the ultimate sacrifice to keep the tradition alive and preserve that for the Marines yet to come," said Lt. Col. John Pylant.

Base Commander Col. Jack Snider says that while it's important to remember those who came before, it's also a time to honor those currently serving.

"They don't get the recognition they need so we try to highlight to them just how truly special they are," said Snider.

Students at Bolden Elementary Middle School, military children, celebrated the Corps' birthday as well with help from the Marine Corps League.

In addition, to the cake cutting ceremony, World War II veterans like Floyd Wiley visited classrooms talking with students about this historic day and sharing their experiences.

"Freedom, that is what our veterans fought for," said Wiley.

While these students may be young, they know the sacrifices Marines make and understand the importance of this day.

"The Marine Corps Birthday is important because there are a lot of special people in the Marines Corps and they sacrifice their lives to help us," said Callie Green.

"They go and fight for our freedom," said James Martin.

For the WWII Veterans, this day always brings back memories.

"I joined the Marine Corps on Nov. 10, 1942. We didn't have a cake cutting ceremony because we were at war and the first one we had was in 1946 and I was the youngest Marine," said Wiley.

"I think of my friends, most of them are not here any more," said WWII veteran Jim Davies.

They are continuing to do their part to keep the Marine Corps' tradition alive.

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