Feb 19, 2004

“Among the men who fought on Iwo Jima, 

uncommon valor was a common virtue.”
- Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN, 16 March 1945

The Marine's Hymn

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It started today… 59 years ago. Four days later, the image that will forever come to mind when the word Marine is spoken - the most reproduced photograph in history - was captured by the camera of Joe Rosenthal.

“The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years.”
- James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 23 February 1945

I have spoken before of Iwo Jima, comparing that one battle so many years ago to the ENTIRE war that we fight today. But at this moment, the only comparison that interests me is of the Marine of then to the Marine of now. And do you know what the difference is?


The word Marine means pride, skill, determination, leadership. It means a life spent dedicated to something larger than yourself. It means something that precious few outside its ranks will ever understand, and will never be able to fully appreciate.

The technology has improved, the training has changed, and there will always and forever be those who think it was better in “the OLD Corps.” But we are still America’s premiere fighting force.

Even our biggest business competitor, the US Army, will agree. Just look at them. In the last 5 years, they’ve made drastic strides to plan like we plan, train like we train, and fight like we fight. If you want to see what the defenders of America look like – you look at a Marine.

On this day, 59 years ago, Marines went into combat and many never returned. Today, Marines are once again going into combat. Not the constant chatter of machine guns and thunder of howitzers kind of combat. The kind of combat that looks peaceful, and then blows up all around you. And again, some will not return.

I know today’s Marines going to Iraq. Many are acquaintances. Some are good friends. Two are family.

I knew the Marines of Iwo Jima, as well. None were acquaintances. None were friends. ALL were family.

Semper Fi.

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music courtesy of militarysounds.com

click this link for video of today's Navy/Marine team, courtesy of this site

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