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Marines celebrate 236th birthday

From left, retired Master Sgt. Henry Jackson, an original Montford Point Marine, stands with Lance Cpl. Nicole Dickinson as Col. Terry Williams, commanding officer of Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, cuts the cake at the annual birthday celebration of the U.S. Marine Corps aboard the installation Wednesday.

From left, retired Master Sgt. Henry Jackson, an original Montford Point Marine, stands with Lance Cpl. Nicole Dickinson as Col. Terry Williams, commanding officer of Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany, cuts the cake at the annual birthday celebration of the U.S. Marine Corps aboard the installation Wednesday.

MCLB-ALBANY — The passing of another year has allowed those in the U.S. Marine Corps to reflect on how far it has come.

Marines and civilians from both Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany and Marine Corps Logistics Command celebrated the 236th birthday of the Marine Corps with a cake-cutting ceremony Wednesday in front of the installation’s headquarters.

Maj. Gen. Chuck Hudson, commanding general of LOGCOM, provided remarks along with U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-Albany.

“In the last 10 years of conflict, we’ve done many more things than fight (in Iraq and Afghanistan),” Hudson said. “In the past year (since the Corps’ last birthday celebration), Marines and those supporting Marines have allowed us to add to our history.

“For those that wear the globe and anchor, this is a special day. We acknowledge our debt to our fallen angels, and the sacrifices they’ve made over the last 10 years.”

Having been established on Nov. 10, 1775, the official birthday of the Corps is today.

Wednesday’s program also included a message written by Gen. James Amos, commandant of the Marine Corps.

“As we celebrate our 236th birthday, let us look forward to future challenges — whatever they may be — and reaffirm our pledge to be America’s premier crisis response force; to be the first to fight...always ready for the toughest and most challenging assignments,” the message read in part.

In his remarks, Bishop spoke of his gratitude toward the Marines and their service.

“Their service to our nation is a lifetime commitment, not just a tour of duty,” the congressman said. “I have four veterans on my staff, three of whom are Marines. They dedicate themselves to being attentive public servants.

“We are thankful for all (the Marines) have done and will continue to do to make this nation the greatest nation on Earth.”

As is customary, Wednesday’s ceremony included a uniform pageant, in which various Marines wore Marine Corps uniforms that were prevalent throughout history in order to demonstrate how the Corps has evolved over time.

“It is always good to look back,” said Cpl. Joanna Sudduth, one of the pageant participants. “It is always good to remember our history. As the years progress you see changes in styles, but we stay the same internally.

“It’s a huge honor to know I am celebrating the birthday of the Marine Corps.”

The cake was cut with a Mameluke sword, with the first piece being cut for Bishop, the guest of honor.

The second piece was given to the oldest Marine present, retired Master Sgt. Henry Jackson — an original Montford Point Marine. As is tradition, that piece was then passed along to the youngest Marine present — Lance Cpl. Nicole Dickinson.

The Albany Marine Band also made an appearance at the ceremony.