Normally, this blog is devoted to topics of interest for insurance agents. Today, however, I want to address a different topic. Two important events in American history occurred during this week. In my opinion, they deserve our attention and appreciation.
On November 10, 1775 Captain Samuel Nichols formed 2 battalions of naval infantry. Since then the U.S. Marines have fought and died in our nation’s wars to preserve our freedom and form of government. Tonight, all over America, marines will gather to celebrate the “birthday” of their Corps.
Very few of us will ever understand the bonds of brotherhood that connects active duty marines with those who are no longer on active duty. They may seem strange to us but not to each other.
I was tempted to use the phrase, “ex-marine”, in the previous sentence and then I remembered that I was once corrected over that very choice of words. I was told there is no such thing as an ex-marine. There was only active duty and non-active duty marines but once a person became a marine they remained a marine for life.
As I think about it, I can’t recall ever meeting a marine who was not up for a fight, if the cause was just. They have that combination of pugnaciousness and honor that our country needs.
Here on November 10 I cannot think of anything better to do than to call a marine and wish him a happy birthday. Even if he was born in March, he will know why you are giving him birthday greetings today.
World War 1 Ends
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 the first “War To End All Wars” ended. Germany signed an armistice that accepted all the blame and financial costs for the bloodiest war, to date, in the history of the world. Unfortunately, it was too late for my grandfather. While he was not killed in action, a bullet did pierce his water canteen during a German gas attack. Without knowing it, after the attack he took a big drink of water contaminated with Mustard Gas and burned his esophagus.
Fortunately, for me, he survived that experience for another 50 years before he died of lung cancer.
The soldiers that braved the dangers that were unique to that war have all died by now. A couple of generations of the progeny have lived and died of old age since then.
Still, if it had not been for people like my grandfather and millions of other brave Americans and their allies, the freedoms that we now take for granted may have been lost over 92 years ago. The world we grew up in could have been significantly different, and not in a good way.
As you go about your daily routine today and tomorrow, whenever you see Old Glory, take time to remember the sacrifices made by those soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who went before us.