Marines celebrate 234th birthday

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

ALBANY -- As those throughout the United States are pausing today to recognize the sacrifices made by our nation's veterans, there is another cause for reflection this time of year.

Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany held a cake-cutting on base Tuesday to celebrate the Corps'

234th birthday.

"Right now there will be Marines everywhere around the world celebrating this occasion," said Col. Terry V. Williams, commanding officer of the base, at Tuesday's event. "It is important for us to understand there is a legacy. It's fitting we celebrate our birthday."

After Williams gave his birthday wishes, the program proceeded with a look through the history of the Corps from the Revolutionary War to present day. Participants dressed the part for each era, allowing observers to see how the Marines have evolved over time.

After a statement from the Commandant of the Marine Corps was read, Williams used a sword to cut the cake. As is custom, the first piece was given to the oldest Marine present. The piece was then given to the youngest Marine present.

Brig. Gen. James A. Kessler, commanding general of Marine Corps Logistics Command, said the ability to celebrate the occasion is special to Marines.

"It's always great to be a Marine, and it's especially great this time of year," he said following the ceremony.

As the nation's armed forces are still engaged in conflict in the Middle East, Kessler added that these circumstances can give a different perspective to the birthday celebration.

"It always causes someone to pause and reflect," he said. "Anytime we are in conflict, we realize the realities of being a Marine."

Tuesday's event marked the second cake-cutting ceremony on base as part of the annual celebration. On Monday, a cake-cutting was conducted at Maintenance Center Albany that was hosted by Col.

Terry W. Reid, the commanding officer of MCA. Those present included the Marine Corps Logistics Command Color Guard, the Albany Marine Band, a sword detail and more than 1,000 MCA personnel.

The Marine Corps was established on Nov. 10, 1775. It started out as the Continental Marines, and have since had a role in every conflict in U.S. history.