Happy birthday to the U.S. Marine Corps which is 245 years old today!
“The U.S. Marine Corps Birthday celebrates the history, memory of those who served before and rekindles the bond that unites all generations of Marines. It is a celebration of the profound respect for the Marine Corps traditions and reverence of the heritage that distinguishes the Corps of Marines…The birthday itself was formally recognized in 1921 at the behest of Major General John Lejeune, who ordered November 10, 1775 to be officially recognized service-wide as the Marine Corps birthday.” (Courtesy Military Benefits Info)
My friend and pro-life colleague Dick Wilson (the photo above shows him back in the day) proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1956 through 1962 and has been a firm and enthusiastic supporter of the Corps ever since. One of the ways he has done this over the years was by volunteering with the Omaha detachment of the Marine Corps League. This service has long included color guard duty at the funerals of fellow Marines.
A few years ago, while bemoaning yet again the vapid verses that so often adorn the funeral program (greeting card poems that lacked both theological backbone and a manly respect for the unique character of the Marine's service to his country), Dick decided to write something more relevant and meaningful.
I think you'll agree with me that he succeeded. Feel free to pass it around.
A Marine Prayer
Almighty God, Father of the fatherless, now take me home.
I was what others could not be.
I went where others feared to go and did what others failed to do.
I asked nothing from those who gave nothing, but gave hope, security and freedom to all.
I have seen the face of terror; felt the stinging cold of fear and experienced the warm comfort of Your love and protection through it all.
I have enjoyed the sweet taste of life, comrades, love of country, Your guiding hand and word.
I have cried, failed, pained, loved and hoped. I have lived times others would say were best forgotten. But, what we are in life echoes into eternity.
I humbly offer that with Your guidance I have done my duty and lived with the grateful pride of what I am…a United States Marine.
Deep sea and sod for now hold our bodies, but You, O Lord, guard our souls until that final day when all stand before You guilty, and for those who believe, receive the gift of forgiveness and Eternal Life.
Almighty God, Father of Love, through the precious blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ, I pray You now take me home. For You have proven to be “Always Faithful.”