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Marines Celebrate Their 229th Birthday

Throughout the world on November 10, U.S. Marines celebrate the birth of their Corps

Posted: November 15, 2004

November 10, 2004, marked the Marine Corps' 229th birthday. Marines across the world gathered to celebrate the Corps' gallant history, crucial future, and the significance of holding the title of United States Marine.

U.S. Marines prepare for the cake cutting ceremony. [U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]In Montevideo, the U.S. Marines Detachment celebrated by hosting their annual Birthday Ball, a traditional function that dates back to 1923 when in the Marine Barracks at Fort Mifflin, Pennsylvania, a "formal" dance was staged to celebrate their 128th Anniversary. The first formal Birthday Ball took place in Philadelphia in 1925. Guests included the Commandant, the Secretary of War, and a host of statesmen and elected officials.

Over the years the annual Marines Birthday Ball grew and grew, taking on a life of its own. In 1952 the Commandant, General Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., formalized the cake-cutting ceremony and other traditional observances. For example, Marine Corps policy now mandates that the first piece of cake must be presented to the oldest U.S. Marine present. The second piece goes to the youngest Marine.

This year's Marine Birthday Ball was dedicated "to our brothers and sisters fighting for the freedoms that allow us to be here tonight".

[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]

[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]U.S. Ambassador Martin J. Silverstein and Mrs. Audrey Silverstein. [U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]

[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]

[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi][U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]

[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi][U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]

[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi][U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]

[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi][U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]

[U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi][U.S. Embassy photo by Vince Alongi]

 

 
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