GUEST EDITORIAL: S.C. can’t let Parris Island be phased out
According to a report by Military.com, the Marines’ top hierarchy is weighing a proposal to close Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island to speed up the military branch’s effort to have modern training sites that fully allow male and female recruits to train together.
(Insert choice word here) no.
This cannot be allowed to happen.
It must not be allowed to happen.
And our community, Gov. Henry McMaster, every official who represents this state and every South Carolinian who cares about it must gather together as a united force — and speak in unison as one forceful voice — to ensure the closure of Parris Island does not happen.
For nearly 105 years the island on Port Royal Sound has served as more than simply a historic training base for new Marines — millions of whom have gone through boot camp there since its establishment in October 1915.
In reality Parris Island is one of the cultural, institutional and, yes, even spiritual pillars of the Lowcountry.
Parris Island is a powerful and unshakable symbol of this region’s deep, abiding love for America and all of its treasured ideals.
Parris Island is an enduring touchstone of this region’s reverence for the brave and selfless Americans who, for generations now, have taken their first steps toward serving and defending our nation on its grounds.
Parris Island is a foundation of our region and our identity alike, one that we can not allow to be stripped and uprooted — and one that must maintain its proper role of importance in the nation’s military fabric.
Parris Island must stay, and any proposal by the Marine Corps leadership to remove it must be met — from across the Lowcountry and throughout the Palmetto State — with the relentless pushback and sustained opposition that such an ill-considered venture clearly deserves.
In the aftermath of the initial alarm over the Military.com report, Dan Beatty, chairman of the South Carolina Military Base Task Force, said that closing Parris Island is all “hypothetical at this point.”
And besides, according to Beatty, it “would take a considerable amount of time” anyway to actually close Parris Island in favor of a new Marine Corps training depot.
Well, that’s fine and all.
But “hypothetical” isn’t the same as “never.”
And as long as the word “never” isn’t being used when it comes to closing Parris Island, South Carolinians need to remain on guard — and on point.
The campaign to save Parris Island must begin now.
It must begin in earnest.
And it must bring all South Carolinians together to wage it.
From The State newspaper of Columbia via The Associated Press.