CMC, Giuliani Honor Corps' B'Day, Fallen Marines
By Sgt. Sam Kille, USMCR
| | November 09, 2001
NEW YORK --
Broadway is known for its bright lights and theater district, but on Nov. 9, the biggest show in town came courtesy of the United States Marine Corps when Marines from the 1st Marine Corps District and 2nd Battalion, 25th Marines celebrated the Corps' 226th birthday during a ceremony at the famed Times Square recruiting booth.
On hand for the event was Gen. James L. Jones, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and Rudy Giuliani, the Mayor of New York City.
"I am deeply grateful that the Marines are here and am happy to help them celebrate their birthday," said Giuliani, sporting a Marine Corps flag pendant on his lapel. "I ask that all New Yorkers pray for these brave men and women who are defending us in the war on terrorism, which through commitment and courage we will prevail."
Along with his remarks, Giuliani, in a mayoral proclamation, designated the day as "United States Marine Corps Day" throughout the city.
The Corps' respect and love for the city of New York runs deep, according to Col. Tom Tyrrell, the commanding officer of the 1st MCD, which oversees recruiting in the Northeast.
"The city has always supported our Marines in their efforts to recruit qualified young men and women, as well as the number of reservists in the area," Tyrrell said. "I have been on recruiting duty before and I can say that New York's level of commitment to the Corps is unlike any I've seen before--our relationship is truly unique."
In addition to a traditional cake cutting ceremony, accompanied with a performance by the Marine Corps Band from Albany, Ga., the event echoed a constant theme--the Corps' belief in the saying, "Once a Marine, Always a Marine." Of the nearly 400 rescue workers who perished at the World Trade Center, 23 had served in the Marine Corps. Two of the firefighters killed, Gunnery Sgt. Matthew Garvey and Cpl. Sean Tallon, were reservists actively serving with 6th Communications Battalion and 2nd Bn., 25th Marines respectively.
General Jones expressed his remorse to Giuliani for the events of Sept. 11, and told the crowd of spectators about one of the first missions that took place in Afghanistan by Marine aviators, and its relevance to New York.
"When the first F-18 left the [USS] Theodore Roosevelt," Jones said, "the pilot took with him an American flag that had been brought from New York."
The flag, which had been recovered in the wake of the disaster, was flown above the aircraft carrier when it provided security in New York Harbor, before steaming for the Arabian Gulf. The Commandant presented the mayor with a framed photograph of the pilot and the flag.
Giuliani was visibly touched by the presentation, as were the Marines gathered in the heart of Manhattan-many of whom are from the New York area. Not only had the Corps followed its time-honored tradition of solemn celebration and remembrance, the city of New York and the United States Marine Corps renewed their bond of friendship and loyalty--a bond too strong for terrorists, past or present, to break.