Marine Corps birthday ceremony held at Arizona State Capitol

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- A birthday bash was held Friday at the Arizona State Capitol for the Marine Corps.

Members of the United States Marine Corps from all over the Valley were there at the senate. Keeping with tradition, a man dressed as "George Washington" read an official proclamation from Governor Jan Brewer declaring November Marine Corps Month.

And you can't have a birthday celebration without cake. It's a 60-year-old tradition where Marines celebrate the Corps' birthday with pound cake.

The first piece was given to the guest of honor, state representative Ruben Gallego, D-Phoenix. He served one tour in Iraq with the Marines.

"I learned more in six years in being in the infantry in the Marine Corps, than I did four years at Harvard," said Gallego. "As long as America is a democratic country, as longs as democracy needs defending, we're always going to need the Marines."

The second piece of the cake was first given to the oldest Marine present, who was a 100-year-old former Navajo Code talker in World War II. It was then passed to the youngest Marine present, who was a 24-year-old sergeant.

"It's a great honor to see these past and present Marines that come back," said Maj. Mike Ford. "Once you earn the title of Marine, you're always a Marine. So it's a brotherhood. It's never broken."

No matter where a Marine is, whether it's on the front lines, or in a fancy ballroom, Marines remember the Corps' birthday.

"You always stopped to pay tribute to the Marines you were with and celebrate our birthday," said Maj. Ford. "But to give tribute to the Marines who braved the path for us in great success and give us the honor and traditions that we have today."

The Marine Corps turned 237 years old Friday.