Camp Lejeune ceremony marks 246 birthday of the Marine Corps

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Camp Lejeune held a cake-cutting ceremony for the 246th birthday of the US Marine Corps on Wednesday.

The Marines have protected the nation by air, land, and sea since 1775, and uniforms from each period from the Revolutionary War to the present were worn by troops during the ceremony.

Brigadier General Andrew Niebel, Commanding General of Camp Lejeune, was the keynote speaker for the ceremony and spoke of how proud he was of the Corps’ ability to withstand the many trials faced over the last year.

“This year was a tough year because of COVID. It impacts readiness here, but we overcame as we’ve done many things I talked about adapting and overcoming,” Niebel said.

The city of Jacksonville and Onslow County officials attended the ceremony and presented proclamations from the city and county recognizing the Corps and Camp Lejeune on its special day.

“We have a lot of good people here both military and civilian that do reach out to each other. They do get involved in the community you know? Sunday school teachers, Boy Scout leaders you know, people that really get involved,” said Jacksonville mayor Sammy Phillips.

When asked some of the emotion the day brings for troops Niebel said, “As I say you don’t write chapters in the Marine Corps, you write books in the Marine Corps. And soon you have a vine with life-defining events. Birthday at the Marine Corps conjures up a lot of emotions both for our Veterans that are out there, for our community we celebrate with, and of course — for the youngest and oldest as you saw today — the passing on of tradition becomes part of our identity.”

Mayor Phillips mentioned the emotions the ceremony brought for some community leaders saying, “It gives me that chill. You know what I mean? That feeling. Every time I hear the Marine Corps hymn it just gives me that charge, even though I was never a Marine. I still get that feeling of ‘Wow!’ You know?”

Troops and civilians joined together after the ceremony in the John A. Lejeune hall for refreshments.

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