The Marine Corps Ball

The Marine Corps was created on November 10, 1775, in Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, by a resolution of the Continental Congress. Each November, various units across the world host a Birthday Ball to commemorate the founding of the Corps. I have gone with Tony to Allentown’s balls throughout the years…I’ve even lost count of how many I’ve been to. My best guess is that we’ve gone to at least 7 over the past 14 years that Tony has been a Marine. ┬áThe Birthday Ball is a time for the Marines to wear their dress blues, honor the legacy of the Marines, and remember those who have paid the ultimate price for freedom.
This year was unique in several ways. This is the first year I’ve gone alone. Last year, with Tony deployed, I chose not to go. Due to many factors, I decided to go stag this year. (Tony had the opportunity to attend a Birthday Ball overseas this year!)

With the passing of our friend Brad in September, I knew this Ball would be different. He and Lyns wouldn’t be there. At our table, there was a place set for both him and Lyns. I was seated next to him, and I cried as soon as I saw it. One of the Marines bought a beer and sat it at his place for him. Later, we toasted to (if I remember Wee’s words) ” one of the greatest men we’ve ever known”. Many tears were shed because of the loss of Brad.

Another milestone for this year’s Ball was more of a celebration. The birthday cake is cut during the ceremony, with the first piece going to the guest of honor. The next piece goes to the oldest Marine serving at that unit, who takes a bite and passes it to the youngest serving Marine at that unit. This symbolizes the passing of knowledge from one generation to another. Our friend Adam was the oldest this year, and ate the cake in front of 325 people!

 

Here are a few pictures from the night.

 

Our place settings

Adam eating the cake

Me, Tracie, and Liv

Kim and me

Liv, Wee, me, Adam, and Tracie

Corey, me, and James

The guys at the end of the night

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