Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Honoring Their Service



World War I ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. President Woodrow Wilson, the following year, proclaimed November 11th as Armistice Day, to honor the sacrifices of those who served and fought in all branches of the military in the first World War. In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower expanded the national and state holiday to honor all American veterans of all wars.

Yesterday was the 233rd anniversary of the United States Marine Corps, founded in Tun's Tavern in Philadelphia in 1775. The Marine's Hymn, copied below is the oldest official United States military song. Dating from the 19th century, Montezuma refers the the Battle of Chapultepec during the Mexican-American War and Tripoli refers to the First Barbary War, fought off the coast of Africa. The music was taken from a French opera that debuted in Paris in 1859. In 1942, the words "in the air" were added to acknowledge the additon of air power. The words are:

From the halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From the dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes;
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.

Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And have never lost our nerve;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven's scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.

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