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Why Do We Celebrate Today?

It’s likely been happening all day that some of my friends on Facebook have looked at my page and become confused. It’s not his birthday, is it? Dario’s born in December right? Christmas isn’t it? How could I forget that?

 

This is a scene that has been happening all morning and will continue happening all day as we Marines take over the web, the airwaves, and a significant portion of all telephone communications to wish our brothers and sisters a “Happy birthday.”

 

Yes, this is a scene that is playing out all over America, and all over the world. Two old salty gunnys from Brooklyn are probably sitting in a park today, wearing scarlet and gold jackets, their Marine tattoos wrinkled underneath, and reminiscing on celebrating the Marine Corps’ Birthday in the chilled landscape of Korea.

 

A World War II Marine is in D.C. today with his wife, shrinking in stature underneath the epic Iwo Jima Memorial, the giant statue commemorating the flag-raising on Mount Suribachi during that famous battle, our national colors flapping in the November breeze. Hand in hand, she’ll kiss him on the cheek and say, “Happy birthday, love.”

 

Vietnam Marines are at their local VFW hall, motorcycles parked outside, mugs raised, trying not to spill too much beer on their beards as their birthday celebrations continue on.

 

Younger Marines, veterans of the recent wars, are tweeting their love for their Corps and texting their buddies, “Hey, bro. Thanks for watching my back.”

 

And a lieutenant in Helmand province, Afghanistan, today is concluding his patrol brief by saying to his platoon, “Let’s make this happen. Happy birthday, Marines.” They’ll lock and load and continue the fight. They’ll carry our honor on this day.

 

So why do we do this? Why do we celebrate with such fervency the day the Corps was born by an act of the Second Continental Congress? Why does this date linger in our minds?

 

It’s because of our camaraderie. It’s because of the forged bonds of hardship. It’s because we are not as lean and not as mean, but still Marines. It’s because of that lieutenant and his platoon. We do it for those of us who are no longer here to raise their glasses in celebration, and our friends who will die tomorrow. Maybe we do it because, even at 236-years-old, we’re happy to report that our Corps still lives on, as powerful, professional, and determined to protect freedom as ever.

 

And we’ll be here until there is no enemy anymore. Just peace.

 

Semper Fidelis,

Dario “D-Boh” DiBattista

Iraq War Veteran

Corporal, USMCR 2001 – 2007

www.dariodibattista.com

 

15 Responses

  1. Brad Clay says:

    Belated Semper Fi and Happy Birthday, D-Boh!  The Marine Corps lives forever, therefore all of us live forever.

  2. Elaine B Koch says:

    A belated happy birthday to the USMC.  My marine went to war in 1967, and didn’t come home alive.  He loved the Corp.  He told me he found a home in the Marines, and because of alll they did for him, he would do whatever they asked and go wherever they sent him.  I have mourned his death for 44 years, and because of him, there is a special place in my heart for all who wear the uniform.  You all wak in the footsteps of heroes and carry on a proud heritage of honor, integrity and courage.  So to all of you who wear the unifom of the USMC today or have worn it in the past – Semper Fi and HOO RAH.

  3. Mark says:

    Carol Henderson –

    I wish that I had your eloquence.

    But I do think that I am of your ‘your father’s clothe’.

    Dad came from a large farm family in Wisconsin; he went through World War II and came back with an even larger brotherhood standing beside him.  It was a different time back then.  Dad never talked about anything, not even after I found his Bronze Star and other medals.  All of Dad’s brothers served during that war as did my Mom. As my father’s oldest, I served ’64 – ’69, so did my younger brother Mike, and my younger Andy.  My daughter joined the Marines and served in Bosnia.  Today she is married to a active Marine who (mentally and physically) survived tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.  They have two E-1’s in cackies.

    My hat’s off and civilian hand salute to your father and all of them.  Thanks!!

    Mark Simons
    (son, Col. John W. Simons USAF(ret)

  4. Jeffrey Burcham says:

    Happy Birthday Marines and here is to another 236 years! Semper Fi

  5. Jeffrey Burcham says:

    Happy Birthday Marines! Semper Fi

  6. Carolhenderson3 says:

    I am the oldest out of 7, I am 50 now, my dad retired Sgt Maj after 23 years. I just remember the first time he went to Nam about 66, I had no idea what happened to him, I was about 5 with 3 other bro and sis already. My mother from Puerto Rico, Dad met her after Boot Camp Parris Island,  she did not even drive! We were on a farm in nowhere Miss. When he came home I did not even know that was my daddy. But when momma hugged him, I think she was surprised too, I knew it was him. Next time in Nam about 69, we were in Beaufort SC, he came home I was 9, I still didn’t recognize him. I have heard so many stories since I have grown, met some of the guys he was in Nam with, so many stories, bad ones good ones…My Dad pulled some strings to get my brother at 18 to be able to go in at Parris Island (Lot’s of our family were in the Marines, Dad lost a USMC brother while he the brother was on leave).  I am so proud of my dad, and especially after seeing the recent History Channel program.  I appreciate him even more. It was kind of cool meeting so many different people growing up. I hated leaving my friends every 3 years but it really made me the strong person I am today. He is still alive and kicking, smoke his Winston’s, drinks his Miller Lite, and is at The American Legion in Round Rock every night playing 31 with his buddies, friends and even me sometimes. After retiring he also taught at Round Rock HS ROTC in Texas for 16 years!!!! He has so many kids that come by and see him like he was their father. I do appreciate everything and everyone he has influenced in their lives. No better Marine in my mind…. One of The Few, The Proud, My Dad, My Marine!!! Thanks!
    Carol Davis Henderson
    Daughter, Sgt Maj J C Davis, Ret.

  7. Mitch Smythe says:

    A POEM WORTH READING
    And sharing!
    (Author unknown)

    He was getting old and paunchyAnd his hair was falling fast,And he sat around the Legion,Telling stories of the past.Of a war that he once fought inAnd the deeds that he had done,In his exploits with his buddies;They were heroes, every one.And ‘tho sometimes to his neighborsHis tales became a joke,All his buddies listened quietly
    For they knew whereof he spoke.But we’ll hear his tales no longer,For old Bob has passed away,And the world’s a little poorerFor a Soldier died today.He won t be mourned by many,Just his children and his wife.For he lived an ordinary,Very quiet sort of life.He held a job and raised a family,Going quietly on his way;And the world won’t note his passing,’Tho a Soldier died today.When politicians leave this earth,Their bodies lie in state,While thousands note their passing,And proclaim that they were great.Papers tell of their life storiesFrom the time that they were youngBut the passing of a SoldierGoes unnoticed, and unsung.Is the greatest contributionTo the welfare of our land,Someone who breaks his promiseAnd cons his fellow man?Or the ordinary fellowWho in times of war and strife,Goes off to serve his countryAnd offers up his life?The politician’s stipendAnd the style in which he lives,Are often disproportionate,To the service that he gives.While the ordinary Soldier,Who offered up his all,Is paid off with a medalAnd perhaps a pension, small.It is not the politiciansWith their compromise and ploys,Who won for us the freedomThat our country now enjoys.Should you find yourself in danger,With your enemies at hand,Would you really want some cop-out,With his ever waffling stand?Or would you want a Soldier–His home, his country, his kin,Just a common Soldier,Who would fight until the end?He was just a common Soldier,And his ranks are growing thin,But his presence should remind usWe may need his like again.For when countries are in conflict,We find the Soldier’s partIs to clean up all the troublesThat the politicians start.If we cannot do him honorWhile he’s here to hear the praise,Then at least let’s give him homageAt the ending of his days.Perhaps just a simple headlineIn the paper that might say:”OUR COUNTRY IS IN MOURNING,A SOLDIER DIED TODAY.”

  8. Rochelle A Anderson says:

    Oorah! First in, last out, God Bless our US Marines!! Happy birthday!

  9. Shellee Ruiz says:

    sll I could do is be proud my son is a “brother” and shed a tear for those that are no longer w/us…thank you to each man and woman that continue to protect us w/no regard of your life or safety!!!!! much love from just a Marine Mom. (proud)

  10. Kolear01 says:

    Over hill, over dale, we will hit the dusty trail, as those Humvee’s keep rolling along… Isn’t a Humvee just a bigger, more powerful caisson?  

  11. James Malone says:

    Hope every Marine in the War Zones received some cake and thanks.

  12. Marcelleusday says:

    happy birthday marines

  13. Nawlins4357 says:

    Happy Birthday Devil!

  14. Calyon531 says:

    you rock, D-Boh! so do your comrades in arms and harms way.

  15. Fadul says:

    Glad to have served with you brother…

    Once and always.  Semper Fi & Happy Birthday