Marines celebrate birthday
The Marine Corps League, Julian D. Dusenbury Detachment #410 celebrated the Marine Corps 242nd birthday on Nov. 11. This was also the detachments 40th anniversary since being chartered on Oct.13,1977. They are the oldest detachment in South Carolina.
This 40th Birthday Ball was held at the Elks Lodge 1020. The evening included dinner and music from the 1930s to the present playing, followed by a program.
Commandant Don Jones opened with attendees paying respect to the U.S. flag and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a boisterous rendition of “The Marine Corps Hymn.” Jim Williams read the Commandant of the Marine Corps’ General Neller’s birthday message. Randy Godbold, Florence County Veterans Service Officer, and honorary Marine Corps League member, was the guest speaker.
A little bit of history: The reading of the birthday message has been a tradition since the Marine Corps 13th Commandant John A. Lejuene's implementation in 1921. After Marine historian Maj. Edwin North McClellen sent a memorandum to Commandant Lejuene to use the original date when they were formed in 1775 at Tun's Tavern instead of July 11 when the Marines were reformed, the first formal birthday celebrations were formalized in 1925.
The Marine Corps Birthday Ball became more standardized by Commandant Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr. in 1952, outlining the cake cutting ceremony, which would enter the Marine Drill Manual in 1956. By tradition, the first slice of cake is given to the oldest Marine present, who in turn hands it off to the youngest, symbolizing the old and experienced Marines passing their knowledge to the new generation of Marine.
Members who have helped with functions throughout the year received Distinguished Service Awards presented by Henry King. Receiving awards were Jim Williams, Leslie Gregg, Eugene Piersol, Thomas Robinson, Judy Jones, Don Jones, Steve Mayhew, Henry King, William Keating, Charlene Keating and Leslie Gregg Sr.
The Detachment Marine of the Year Award was awarded to Don Jones who has served as the commandant of the detachment for 10 years. An Associate of the Year Award was presented to Judy Jones who works very hard for the detachment. Thank You Certificates were given to Randy Godbold and the Elks Lodge 1020.