Today is the 240th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. Congratulations to all Gyrenes, past and present.
In honor of the occasion, here's a classic toast circulated via e-mail this morning by a retired Marine, to whom I'm greatly obliged.
On the occasion of the 1978 Marine Corps Birthday Ball at Camp LeJeune, and in the presence of several thousand Marines and their ladies, Gen. Louis Wilson, Commandant, United States Marine Corps, arose to deliver his long awaited address to the troops.
He approached the rostrum, nodded to the Base and Division Commanders and proceeded to explain to the captive masses that he would be short on words that night. He turned to his bride, took a glass, and amid dead silence he offered this toast - and promptly sat down.
The wonderful love of a beautiful maid,
The love of a staunch true man,
The love of a baby, unafraid,
Has existed since time began.
But the greatest of loves,
The quintessence of loves,
Even greater than that of a mother,
Is the tender, passionate, infinite love
Of one drunken Marine for another.
There were a few seconds of silence . . . and the room EXPLODED. It was ten minutes or more before order was restored.
Gen. Wilson left us in 2005. We are diminished by the absence of men such as he.
Finally, for all the Devil Dogs out there . . .