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Marines celebrate 237 years

Col. Stephen Medeiros, commander of Marine Depot Maintenance Command, far left, hands the first piece of a Marine Corps birthday cake to Ralph Jones, a former Marine who now works with the command at a celebration on Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany on Wednesday. The Corps is celebrating its 237th birthday this year. (Nov. 7, 2012)

Col. Stephen Medeiros, commander of Marine Depot Maintenance Command, far left, hands the first piece of a Marine Corps birthday cake to Ralph Jones, a former Marine who now works with the command at a celebration on Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany on Wednesday. The Corps is celebrating its 237th birthday this year. (Nov. 7, 2012)

MCLB-ALBANY -- Marines and civilian Marines from Marine Corps Logistics Base-Albany and its tenant commands celebrated the 237th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps with two cake cuttings aboard the base Wednesday.

The first of the two ceremonies took place just inside the main gate at 10 a.m., and included a uniform pageant featuring Marine attire utilized throughout history.

The Marine Depot Maintenance Command (MDMC) had its own cake-cutting later in the day.

As is tradition, the cakes were cut with a Mameluke sword. The first piece was given to the oldest Marine present to be passed along to the youngest Marine present.

At the afternoon ceremony, the cake was cut by Col. Stephen Medeiros, commanding officer of MDMC.

"The day is not only a celebration of who we are, but of the service and sacrifice the civilian Marines do here (at MDMC's production plant in Albany) and in Barstow (in California)," said Medeiros. "(The ceremony) is a revitalizing of traditions, customs and courtesies as a Corps of Marines and to remember those who have gone before us.

"History and tradition have to start somewhere. It is handed down from generation to generation. It's a foundation from which we are able to protect our nation's freedoms."

At the MDMC event, the oldest Marine was Ralph Jones, 72, who is now working in the risk management department for the command.

"It's just an honor and pleasure. It's great to be a part of it," Jones said after the ceremony. "It's important to keep (the annual Marine Corps birthday celebration) going. There is good camaraderie (in the Corps)."

Even though he is no longer an active Marine, he still has the spirit of one. "If I hear a group of Marines running and singing, it gives me the chills," Jones said. "It never gets old."

Jones separated from the Marine Corps in 1967. The youngest Marine present was Sgt. Nick Riemke, 24.

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