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Boyce Clark Poetry

Boyce Clark was a member of E/2/7, US Marine Corps, during the Korean War.  He served in Korea in 1950-51.  His full memoir can be found on the Memoirs page of the Korean War Educator under Boyce Clark.

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Chosin Reservoir

Here is a story that must be told,
     Of Marines who fought in the bitter cold.
Some were veterans of World War II.
     They would soon join the ranks
Called the "Chosin Few".

These veterans, though not too old,
     Had one thing in common, all were bold!
Always outnumbered, but never outfought,
     Fulfilled the lessons they were taught.

The Division was cut off, constantly hounded.
     Then "Chesty" was heard to chime,
"They've got us surrounded.
      The bastards won't get away this time".

Frozen hands and frozen feet,
     The landscape covered like a great white sheet.
Still, they fought through the wintry breeze,
     And destroyed eight divisions of the encircling Chinese.

Grunts on the ground will always share,
     A special kindred for the Marine Corsair.
Their close air support left no doubt,
     Of devastated Chinese along the route.

From Yudam-ni and Toktong pass,
     Then Hagaru and Koto-ri,
First Division Marines fought their way to freedom,
     To Hungnam and the Sea.

Now, truly a band of brothers,
     We honor those Marines we never knew,
Hereafter, they will share with us in spirit,
     We are -- THE CHOSIN FEW.


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7th Marines Remembered

Korea was called the "Forgotten War,"
     And historians do not dwell,

But there are countless personal stories,
     And here is just one to tell.

He was my friend, and I heard him die!
     I said heard because I could not see,

Yet he was only fifteen or twenty yards from me.
     It was March 7 of '51, this I certainly know,

As our dug-in positions were covered,
     With a heavy blanket of snow.

His name was Robert Raspanti,
     And I still can hear his voice,

It was filled with anguish and pain.
     What were his thoughts -- of family or friends?

Or will I get home again?
     This story would be repeated.

On this windy, cold March day,
     As five more Marines from E-2-7,

Were to be listed as KIA!
     Their names will forever be remembered.

And listed here below:
     REGAN, PASSERO, MATERNE,

CASTILLE, and CHURCHILL.
     They were 7th Marines who fought and died.

On that hill and in the snow.
     We will never forget the sacrifice they made,

As they fought for others freedom,
     And with their lives they paid.

I for one will always remember,
     All the Marines who went ashore,

And the heritage they left us,
     As members of our beloved Corps!

One day, we all shall meet again,
     We'll look each other in the eye,

And say, welcome aboard Marine,
     Well done! and -- Semper Fi!


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The High Ground

To those who served in Korea,
     There was always one more hill to climb.
Be it in the heat of summer or miserable winter time.
     The high ground proved to be our friend,
As we would dig in for the night,
     And the two man holes we hastily dug,
Were always too damn tight!
     It was to our advantage,
When the Chinese did drop by,
     Thanks to well laid fields of fire,
All they could do was die.
     We had seen what happens,
When you fail to plan ahead.
     It was mid-May of 1951,
And a sight we'll never forget,
     As we marched through "Massacre Valley",
And witnessed our Army's dead.
     So climb we did and dug our holes,
No matter what the weather,
     When you think of the alternative,
The gear we packed up those hills,
     Seemed lighter than a feather.
To all who walked those Korean hills,
     The memories will always be around.
As Marines we know the value,
     Of always securing the High Ground.


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Korean War

In the year of our Lord 1950,
     The U.S. and the world was at peace.
Then the bubble burst in the Far East,
     And the peace we all knew would cease.
As thousands of North Koreans,
     Would invade their neighbors in the South.
And once again the echoes of war would be heard,
     In the "Land of the Morning Calm".
For thirty-seven months the battles raged,
     And the outcome was in doubt,
Until U.S. led forces showed the enemy their clout.
     There was the escape from Pusan's perimeter,
Then the invasion of Inchon from the sea,
     And U.S. Marines of the First Division,
Would help South Korea remain free.
     Still battles raged throughout the land,
Then an epic withdrawal would soon be at hand.
     From the frozen Chanjin (Chosin) reservoir,
Marines and Chinese would be fully at war.
     The world was told the Marines had no chance,
As thousands of Chinese were on the advance.
     Yet, the 1st Marine Division proved the world wrong,
As they would march to the sea and defeat the throng.
      With 10 Chinese Divisions at their back,
The 1st Marine Division would lead an attack.
     The Marine attack would begin at Koto-ri,
And end successfully at Hungnam and the sea.


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Korea 1950-1953

Misery and agony, two words we knew so well,
     Were common words for those who fought,
On that Korean landscape called hell.
     From the summer of 1950 'till the summer of '53,
Brave men fought countless battles,
     So South Korea would remain free.
We were told this was only a "Police Action",
     And really not a war,
One wondered if the rest of the world,
     Knew what we were fighting for.
We fought for another nation's freedom,
     And against those invaders from the North,
Who would enslave their neighbors,
     As enemy armies came marching forth.
From the perimeter at Pusan,
     To the frozen Chosin (Changjin) Reservoir,
Then Spring and Summer offensives,
     Would test the resolve of our beloved Corps.
The politicians and the pundits,
     Called Korea, "The Forgotten War",
But just ask those who fought there,
     What they were fighting for.
Freedom is not free and comes at a terrible price,
     Just remember those who cherished freedom,
Yet with their lives paid the ultimate price.
     And to all those who did come home,
Life itself is like a special soothing balm,
     For they helped preserve freedom,
In this "Land of the Morning Calm."


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Korean Christmas Eve - 1950

It was cold, so cold, at that Masan site,
     As we gathered to sing carols,
On Christmas Eve night.
     Far from home, family and friends,
Still the warmth we shared knew no ends.
     Snow flurries added to the spirit of Christmas,
While some even wondered,
     If folks back home missed us.
Korea! Korea! Where the hell's that?
     I can't even find on my old world map.
But here we are at Truman's request,
     All bundled up for a long winter's quest.
I heard Joe O'Brien say, hey! Where's me hat!,
     And in an instant, I  knew where I was at.
You see, Joe was a classmate of mine at O'Dea,
     A school in Seattle, so far away.
We hadn't seen each other in years,
     So, we talked of old times, over Ashai beers.
We sang carols of course, cursed Acheson and Harry,
     But time was short, so not to worry.
We had good chow, warm clothes,
     And lots of Suntori!
Then Christmas Eve faded, along with our dreams,
     Of being "home early",
Just another one of MacArthur's schemes.


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May Day 1951

"Marine, you die!" the shrill voice screamed.
     Now wide awake, we had not dreamed.
Whistles, bugles, they all blared.
     We hunkered down in holes we shared.

Here they come, though not too far,
     The M1, the carbine, would not cope.
Still they come, though not too far,
     Thanks to the Marine and his BAR.

The CCF, they really tried,
     And for their efforts, they all died.
What was their purpose, their screams and yells?
     They soon would rest in new-found hells.

This Korean night in May was serene,
     Until they challenged a U.S. Marine.
For in the hereafter, they will see,
     The Marine, the Marine, USMC!


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Honor Guard

A solemn tribute is paid today,
   By a guard of honor, as Marines would say.
A flag-draped casket, a friend perhaps,
   A mournful tune as a bugler plays Taps."
This Marine we now honor and lay to rest
   Had family, friends and this request:
"Seven Marines fire a volley of three,
   There is no better way to remember me."
My time has come, the day serene,
   As the Lord welcomes home...a U.S. Marine.


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"Taps"

Twenty-four notes all loud and clear,
   Breaking the calm of those gathered here.
A flag-draped casket is laid to rest,
   An American hero, one of our best.
The sound of "Taps"
   Brings a tear to the eye,
And we ask ourselves, "Why did he die?"
   He gave his life so we'll remain free,
To protect and preserve our liberty.
   Then seven Marines fire a volley of three,
"There is no better way to remember me."
   Those mournful 24 notes
Have been heard once more
   By all Marines in our beloved Corps.
So until we all meet at heaven's gate,
   Those twenty-four notes will have to wait.
Then the day will come--
   We'll look each other in the eye
And say, "Welcome aboard, Marine,
   Well done and Semper Fi!"


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Veterans Day: A Time to Remember

I stood alone and looked around
   At this windy, cold and hallowed ground.
The countless markers, row upon row,
   A reminder of wars fought long ago.
This common ground they now share,
   Why are so few here to care?
Complacent? Forgetful?  Who's to say?
   Yet a time to remember, a time to pray.
As a nation we shall remember
   All veterans who paid the price.
They answered the call when needed,
   And did so without thinking twice.
Some fought the "War to End All Wars,"
   A better life for one and all.
Still World War II, Korea and 'Nam,
   What's the answer to it all?
Peace is hard to come by,
   Yet if these veterans could only speak,
I'm sure their answer would be as one:
   "Treasure liberty!  Don't be weak!
Just don't forget we did our share
   For country, freedom and you.
Is it too much then to ask,
   Remember and give us our due?"
Now on this November Veterans Day,
   Surely we can take the time to say
A heartfelt "thank you" to our veterans
   As we pause, give thanks and pray.


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Lest We Forget

They were all here and then no more.
   These warriors, these Marines of our Corps.
They paid the price for you and me
   That this nation would remain forever free.

They answered the call not thinking twice,
   And we must never forget their sacrifice.
All rest here now as friends gather around
   Paying respects at this hallowed ground.

What can we say to show that we care
   As we bow our heads and say a prayer?
The sound of "Taps" played loud and clear,
   An honor to all who will remain here.

So let us remember each Memorial Day,
   As our time to pause, give thanks and pray.
We must always treasure our liberty,
   And remember those who have kept us free.

And now that we depart this place serene,
   We have rendered honors to a U.S. Marine.


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"Easy" Company

The 7th Marines of "Easy" Company
   Will all muster once again.
We'll gather in heaven's squadbay
   To receive our orders for the day.
We served our time for country and Corps
   And heard the terrible sounds of war.
Now as a lone bugler plays "Taps,"
   Another Marine leaves our Corps.
We welcome him home as a nation gives thanks.
   He is a Marine from "Easy" Two-Seven
And we are proud he is in our ranks.
   So fall in Marine and cover down,
Sound off when your name is called.
   Next time you hear the sound of "Taps"
And Marines fire a volley of three,
   There really is no better way to remember you and me.
You can hear the faint sounds of Sousa's band
   That stir not only our hearts, but others'.
We safely have come home from the wars
   And will forever be a band of brothers.


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For Right and Freedom

It is known by every Marine alive
   That our Corps was born in 1775.
Formed by Congress
   To protect our liberty,
We are known as warriors.
   We are soldiers of the sea.

Since the founding of our nation,
   We have fought against tyranny
In the jungles, sand and coral
   Of World War II,
To the bitter, freezing Korean cold.
   Our colors have never shown brighter.
Our Corps ethos makes us bold.

From Tripoli to Belleau Wood,
   Marines would forever be known
As leathernecks and devil dogs--
   Their fighting spirit well-shown.

From the first battles of our Republic,
   And all other wars in between,
Marines always have been
   At the tip of the spear,
For as our hymn reminds us,
   We are the finest ever seen!

Now, let us propose a toast.
   All stand and lift your glass
To our beloved Corps!
   "To those Marines who went before,
We'll uphold your legacy,
   For we are truly a band of brothers;
We are soldiers of the sea!"


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Marine Corps Recruiters

We read it in the papers, then see it on TV.
   The media's constantly telling us
This country's not what it used to be--
   That we lack respect and discipline
And no one seems to care.
   Well, I for one have a story to tell
That I am more than willing to share.

Our republic is in excellent shape.
   You only have to look around.
Thanks to U.S. Marine recruiters,
   Our Corps is on solid ground.
These young men and women
   From throughout the good old USA
Will train at Parris Island
   And near San Diego's bay.

Their one desire, to be the best,
   Will be tested for 11 weeks.
The ultimate goal to be called Marine
   Is what each individual seeks.
Discipline will be ingrained;
   Respect must truly be earned,
For these are traits to live by
   And goals for which Marines have yearned.

The future of our nation
   Is in every youth we see.
Ask any Marine Corps recruiter
   And he will readily agree.
So, next time you see a story
   Knocking country, youth and more,
Remember these young people
   Serving their country and our beloved Corps!

Thanks again to Marine Corps recruiters.
   They are put through every test
And are ultimately responsible
   For selecting the very best.
For once recruits have completed
   Their 11 weeks or more,
They will have earned the title "U.S. Marine"
   And will forever be part of our Corps!


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Marine for Life

Since the founding of our beloved Corps in 1775,
   Our finest young men and women
Have kept freedom's flame alive.
   We have learned that freedom is precious
And that liberty comes at a price.
   Yet, throughout our republic's existence,
   And when challenged to fight,
Our Marines never faltered, but made the sacrifice.

Our Corps is filled with history,
   For our heroes and legends abound.
Yet, all are proud Americans
   And throughout the land are found.
Take a look at our battle steamers
   As they glisten from our colors staff--
Each streamer a vivid reminder of encounters from the past.
   Each streamer tells a story, of which we may be proud,
To be a part of history; we should shout it right out loud!

There are those who do not understand us,
   And of course they never will,
For we are a band of brothers and understand the drill.
   We have been forged together,
Be it in peacetime or in war,
   And to each of us our Marine Corps is well worth dying for.

Those who have worn Marine Corps green,
   And proudly wore their blues,
To you I say welcome board,
   You have certainly paid your dues.
For "Once a Marine, always a Marine"
   Is a motto we all understand,
And I know we all get chills
   As we hear the strains of Sousa's band.

Our hymn forever reminds us
   Of the battles we have seen,
And it makes us even prouder
   To bear the title of United States Marine.
We now have another title
   We'll carry through stress and strife.
Our Corps and our country will know us,
   For we are Marines for life!


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Veterans Days

Do you recall in years gone by,
   When we used to pause and pray,
For those Americans who gave their lives?
   We called it Armistice Day.
The 11th hour of the 11th day,
   Of the 11th month of the year,
Was set aside to honor those,
   Who fought for liberty.
It was called the "War to End All Wars,"
   And they died for you and me.
Now, we call it Veterans Day,
   To honor all those who served.
Surely, we can do no less,
   For their deeds are well deserved.
But where now are the parades,
   The marching bands and such?
Is it just another holiday,
   Or do we really care that much?
If you care, then tell a friend,
   And join in this Veterans Day.
Make the occasion special;
   It shouldn't be made a chore,
For those you have come to honor,
   Once cherished peace and not war.
Some now lay in hallowed ground,
   For they paid the ultimate price.
Why not then, take the time to visit?
   Surely, you can make this sacrifice.
So, whenever you meet a veteran,
   Especially on Veterans Day,
Just wave, acknowledge him, or even better yet,
   Why not shake his hand and say,
"Thank you for all that you have done,
   To keep this nation free."
And to all who have served before us,
   Who treasured liberty,
Once Armistice Day, now Veterans Day,
   Just let us never, ever forget,
To pay our respects to all who served;
   This nation will forever be in their debt!


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World War II: "We Must Remember"

To the sons and daughters of America
   Who fought to keep us free,
And to those who served on the home front
   To help preserve our liberty.

Veterans, how can we ever thank you
   For the sacrifice you bore,
And to those who never came home
   From the European and Pacific war?

Your deeds should never be forgotten,
   In fact, should be etched in stone,
As we gather here today and profess,
   At last you are remembered;
You are honored and not alone.

As Americans, we must remember,
   Freedom and liberty are not free.
Ask the veteran standing next to you
   What he sacrificed for you and me.

The memorial before us is a reminder
   That freedom comes at a price.
Yet when our nation called them,
   They answered, not thinking twice.

As we dedicate this memorial
   On this Memorial Day,
It is only fitting and proper
   To pause, give thanks and pray.

To all who served in World War II,
   Our thanks go out anew.
We have all come here today
   To honor each and every one of you.

Future generations will learn
   Just what our veterans have done--
That World War II was the supreme battle,
   A battle which you have won.

As you leave here today, remember
   Just what this memorial is fore:
To pay homage to each veteran,
   And not to glorify war.

Too many years have now passed
   Since that infamous seventh day of December.
Now is the time to pause and reflect,
   And tell everyone, "We must remember."


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Memorial Day

It used to be, when I was young,
   There were parades and flags flying
In the bright summer's sun.
   People of all ages turned out to see
Those young men in uniform
   Who helped keep us free.
The occasion was called Memorial Day,
   A time to celebrate, a time to pray.
What used to be a solemn tradition
   Has now been forgotten, a truly sad omission.

Where are the patriots, those who care
   About our nation in need of prayer?
We should never forget their sacrifice;
   On far-off battlefields they paid a price.
It seems to me that one day each year
   We could each pay our respects,
Wave flags and just cheer--
   Cheer all those who are with us today
And honor those in whose memories
   We'll shed some tears and pray.

For these men now rest in hallowed ground,
   Surrounded by comrades, so quiet a sound.
Yet faintly I hear the soft sound of "Taps,"
   Echoing the voices of men from the past.
If you listen to your heart and feel the soft breeze
   As the leaves gently rustle
Through the tops of the trees,
   Listen, listen!  And no doubt you'll hear
Voices from deep within say,
   "Let us put the memory back in Memorial Day!"
Now, here we gather to honor those
   Whose memories will never perish.
We can do no less than to say thank you;
   Your deeds we shall forever cherish.


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Drill Instructor

They all earned the title of
   United States Marine.
Now their one and only goal is to train
   Young people in their teens.

They are known as drill instructors,
   And for eleven weeks or more,
They challenge each and every recruit
   As they strive to join our Corps.

You see, each drill instructor has completed
   Courses at DI School.
Now each recruit will swiftly learn
   That drill instructors rule!

"Sir, yes, sir!" are words recruits all share,
   As they respond respectfully
To the DI with the Smokey Bear.

It is this distinctive cover,
   That all drill instructors wear,
That sets them apart from others
   As they train those in their care.

For, you see, drill instructors
   Are the backbone of our Corps,
As they train young people daily,
   Be it in preparation for peace or war.

There is no substitute for readiness
   The DIs know firsthand,
As they ready each and every recruit
   To embark to a far-off land.

The training will soon be over
   Recruits' skills are honed and keen.
For finally, after the Crucible
   They will be called United States Marines!

But what of the drill instructors?
   What do they have in store?
Just the knowledge and pride of each platoon
   They've trained for our beloved Corps!

This story will be repeated
   On coasts both East and West
As DIs strive for each platoon
   To do its very best.

So, to those Marines with the razor creases
   And their jaunty Smokey Bear,
Semper Fidelis to you!
   This nation knows you care.


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First Marine Division Anniversary

They fought beneath the Southern Cross,
   These men they call Marines.
Some were battle-hardened,
   Most still in their teens.

From the Solomon Islands to Okinawa
   And countless islands in between,
U.S. Marines of the First Division
   Were always on the scene.

It was 1 Feb. 1941,
   When the "first to fight" was born;
And only 10 months later,
   Our nation would learn to mourn.

The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor;
   There was no place for them to hide.
But at a place called Guadalcanal,
    Marines would soon turn the tide.

The "first to fight" was ready
   At this place they dubbed the 'Canal.
It should always be remembered;
   Those who fought there surely shall!

Marines faced a bitter enemy
  Until early September of 1945,
When the enemy finally surrendered,
   And again, our freedom remained alive.

The "first to fight" was in Korea,
   And then came Vietnam.
They vanquished another enemy
   On the sands of Desert Storm.

And now 60 years later,
   As we commemorate their anniversary,
The "first to fight" says Semper Fidelis
   To all soldiers of the sea!


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Flag Day

What do you feel when our flag goes by,
   A spine tingling chill, a tear in the eye?
To me it means the freedom we all crave,
   In this land of the free, home of the brave.
It is truly our symbol, the red, white and blue,
   Yet some people may burn it, but very few.
We honor our symbol on this Flag Day;
   Let us pause, reflect and, of course, pray.
Pray that our nation remains ever strong,
   Maintains our vigilance, so nothing goes wrong.
We can always rely on a reliable source,
   They are U.S. Marines: our 911 force!
If called to action on a foreign shore,
   The red, white and blue will accompany the Corps.
We must always be a ready force from the sea,
   If we are to protect and defend democracy.
So, let us always remember, the red, white and blue
   Is the symbol of our freedom,
Obtained by those Marines we never knew.
   It is true, some will still burn our flag,
And they will never be contrite.
   They live in freedom, yet unearned,
They feel that it is their right.
   Still, each time I hear "The Marines' Hymn,"
My heart is filled with pride,
   And I'll say a silent "thank you" prayer,
For my country and for those Marines who died.
   Semper Fidelis, these two words ring true.
U.S. Marines shall always be on guard
   For the red, the white and blue!


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The Crucible

For 11 weeks, we trained each day
   And did our very best.
Yet, another challenge called the Crucible
   Would be the one last test.
We all faced this defining moment
   (As only recruits can do.)
Now, formed into cohesive units, success was measured
   On just how we would follow through.
The obstacles, although many,
   Were overcome by each and every one,
As teamwork brought us together,
   And together we were as one!
Then came the time we all waited for
   As morning colors rose,
We finally received the title Marine
   And are now members of the Corps!
The 12th week is a time to share,
   And, as Marines, reflect on what we have done.
We all came in as individuals;
   Now, the Crucible has made us one!


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Happy Birthday, Marines

I looked out my window,
   And against a bright blue sky,
Saw the flag of our nation,
   Softly waving on high.
We take for granted, so many things,
   Like friends, homes, families
And children on swings.
   Do we ever stop
To pray and give thanks,
   For the countless Marines,
Who once filled our ranks?
   If not for them, where would we be?
This home of the brave,
   This land of the free.
And now 221 years later,
   On this birthday of our Corps,
Our colors shine even brighter,
   For there is peace, not war.
We're still prepared if need be
   To defend our nation's goals,
Whatever will be our mission,
   We'll master the rocks and shoals.
For those who wear
   The Marine Corps green,
Our proud motto says it best.
   Semper Fidelis--these two words
Have surmounted every test.
   From our early Revolution, in 1775,
Marines have fought in every war
   To keep this nation alive.
So wherever you are, let the word go out,
   Be you on ship or shore,
To all Marines, Happy Birthday
   And may God bless our beloved Corps!


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Band of Brothers

It has often been said and written by others,
   That U.S. Marines are a band of brothers.
Forged together, in peace or war,
   Semper Fidelis, to country and Corps.
Combat ready; a force from the sea,
   Prepared to keep this republic free.
History teaches mistakes from the past;
   We must learn these lessons well.
Too many Marines have paid the price;
   Their lives have been a sacrifice.
The price they paid for freedom
   Has never been in vain.
This republic, in which we live today,
   Has been won through their sacrifice and pain.
Is the "Cold War" really over?
   Just look around the globe and see.
Remember, there is no substitute for readiness,
   If this republic is to remain free.
When, and if, we're asked to fight,
   As Marines we will do our best.
We ask, but just one thing...
   For truly, it would be a sin,
And that would be hereafter
   Limiting our ability to win.
Give us the tools with which to fight;
   For as a band of brothers,
We are ready, both night and day.
   Our one and only goal as Marines,
Is to protect the USA!


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Forever Young

Memories are treasures; we keep them locked away,
   Knowing that someday, we'll recall them back to play.
Forgotten faces, places and names;
   Our memory retraces and eases the pains.
The pains of war now long past,
   A memorial rises...remembered at last!
We care to remember our comrades who died,
   So vital, so young, so filled with pride.
Pride in their country, pride in their Corps,
   At last we remember, we can do no more!
Forever young they will remain,
   It is those still living, who bear their pain.
And now the memories, once locked away,
   For a few fleeting moments, are with us today.
This memorial is a tribute to all those who died,
   And to those who remember, a day filled with pride.
Their names now inscribed in marbled stone,
   They're not forgotten; they're not alone!


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"Forgotten War" ... Now Remembered

Finally!  The time has come,
   For us to say farewell,
These past years have taken their toll,
   as we gather here on sacred ground,
To pay honor and extoll.
   You fought and gave your life.
That others may live free.
   The Memorial before us,
Is a testament, you see.
   This testament speaks volumes,
Of those who died for you and me.
   A nation cannot thank you,
For the courage you did show,
   But your comrades gathered here today,
Say softly, believe me; we surely know!
   You will always be remembered,
In this nation's "Forgotten War",
   As long as there are Americans,
Who believe in freedom, and sacrifice,
   To keep enemies from our shore,
We shall always remember,
   "That freedom is not free,
That the price you paid in Korea,
   Was the cost of liberty.
So on this July day, in 1995,
   We give thanks to you,
And your comrades,
   That a free nation did survive.
Historians, and pundits,
   May call it a "forgotten war",
But to you dear friend,
   and to those who survived,
We give you honor as never before!
   Those gathered here, families and friends,
Our hearts are filled with pride,
   And now, four decades later,
We honor those who died,
   The "Forgotten War" is now remembered,
and in this hallowed place,
   We can close our eyes,
And in mind and heart,
   Still see your youthful face,
Now rest in peace, the time has come,
   Although granted, somewhat late,
those gathered here, to honor you,
   Will never forget your fate.
Your deeds will be remembered,
   By free men everywhere,
We now take this time to remember,
   Because we really care!


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The Empty Chair

This solemn day in November,
   We gather here to share,
To honor and remember those,
   Who sat in this empty chair.
Veterans Day is special,
   A time to contemplate,
Why this chair is empty?
   What was this Marine's fate?
He was at Valley Forge with Washington,
   And in every war was seen.
This empty chair before us
   Renders honor to a Marine.
He was a son or father,
   A friend or uncle, perhaps,
But it really doesn't matter.
   As a bugler now plays "Taps."
Thanks to them, we live in freedom.
   They could truly do no more,
As they gave their lives,
   For you and for me,
These members of our Corps.
   We eternal band of brothers,
We soldiers of the sea,
   Must maintain our heritage,
To keep our nation free.
   Let us now stand together,
And with a toast, we pledge:
   "From this day forth we honor
The sacrifice you bore,
   We are proud to be here with you
As members of our Corps."
   We see the chair is empty,
Yet, in our hearts serene,
   Know it once was occupied,
By a United States Marine!


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USMC

Uniforms they proudly wore
   Sacrificed lives on a distant shore

Marine was the title they all earned.
   Adept in their training; hardships spurned
Resourceful; prepared for any mission
   Initiative in the Corps tradition
Navy carries us from ship to shore
   Experienced warriors to fight a war.

Corps and courage go hand in hand.
   Our force is the best from any land.
Respected for all the world to see
   Proud Marines we will always be.
Semper Fidelis ... to you and to me!


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Marine Graduation

Young men are training daily,
   At a place called MCRD.
The mission of this elite group
   Is to keep this nation free.
Their task will not be easy;
   The training rough at best.
Mental and physical toughness
   Will be included in the test.
For discipline breeds confidence,
   These "boots" will all concede.
Soon now they will graduate,
   And become the newest breed.
For 11 weeks they have endured,
   And learned their lessons well.
Thanks to the drill instructor,
   The stories they will tell.
You see, each week, times 44,
   On this San Diego shore,
Once raw recruits are now transformed,
   They are members of the Corps.
"The Marines' Hymn" is now over,
   The final dismissal near,
All are waiting eagerly.
   The word they want to hear.
You all have looked forward,
   To this day, this time serene,
For each of you have earned the title
   Of United States Marine!


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One Brief Story

It was May 28 of 1951,
  this date I remember so well.
My story will be quite brief,
  but there is so much more to tell.
Our objective was to take the high ground,
  of course this task was not new.
Easy Company had done this so often,
  we all knew exactly what to do.
The steep mountainous terrain proved difficult,
  as the Chinese rained down grenades.
Here memories diminish somewhat,
  but really never, ever fades.
And the cries went out - Corpsman,
  as we mounted our final assault.
To eliminate the entrenched Chinese,
  was what our mission was all about.
With our objective now fully secured,
  it was time to count the cost.
Easy-Two-Seven counted seven WIA,
  while five more Marines were lost (KIA).
I still can see the faces of ...
  Lunsford, Marino, Wilhite, Russell & Mills.
Each Marine to me a hero,
  who sacrificed their lives on those hills.
I know every Marine has a story,
  that he would like to share.
This is my brief offering,
  brought to you because I care.
Memories have a way of fleeing,
  and if we don't share the past,
These stories are lost forever,
  because with age memories fade and don't last.
So get off your 6 and turn to,
  while you still have the time.
Share your stories with family & friends,
  no one says they have to rhyme.
I am thankful each and every day,
  for family, friends and God's beautiful scenes.
But moreover to have shared my life,
   ... with United States Marines....


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Welcome Home Marine

He is going home but not alone,
  He is a United States Marine.
He fought and died in a foreign land,
  to protect a fledging democracy.
His mission to bring hope, peace and liberty.
  Family and friends will now gather,
At his final resting place.
  They all will cherish knowing him,
And forever recall his smiling face.
  Let us always remember,
This Marine's service in peace and war.
  He was a credit to his country,
And to his comrades and his Corps.
  And now the flag is folded,
The Marines fire a volley of three,
  and in the far off distance,
The mournful sound of echo taps,
  brings a certain finality.
And another U.S. Marine is home with family.


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The First to Fight

May God Bless our beloved Corps,
  And sustain our Marines in peace or war.
The "First to Fight" will keep us free,
  To protect our Homeland and Liberty.
We have fought in every clime and place,
  And will do so ever more,
Just as those Marines before us,
  Brought honor to our Corps.
So no matter what the mission,
  Our training will see us through
We will fight this Nation's battles,
  To defend the Red, White and Blue.
Whenever our Republic has been challenged,
  A call went throughout the land,
And U.S. Marines responded,
  And were the first to take a stand.
Now fanatic terrorists are on a killing spree,
  As they attempt to discourage,
And make certain non one is free.
  It is up to people everywhere,
If they cherish freedom and peace,
  To see that terrorists are defeated,
And that world wide terrorism cease.
  As U.S. Marines we will be prepared,
For we cherish freedom and right,
  Rest assured America we are on guard,
For we are "The First to Fight."


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Liberty and Freedom

We all have earned the title of
  United States Marine.
And there is no doubt about it,
  "We are the finest ever seen."
Our mission is to protect this country,
  And to guard our homeland shore,
From enemies both foreign and domestic,
  who would dare to challenge our Corps.
When called upon to serve our nation,
  We'll keep our targets in sight,
For we are guardians of liberty and freedom,
  We are always "The First to Fight."


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Iwo Jima... Lest We Forget

Do you remember Iwo Jima, a far off Pacific isle?
  It was here that 20,000 U.S. Marines,
Would face a bitter and deadly trial.
  For thirty-six bloody days against a fanatic foe,
Marines of the 3rd, 4th and 5th Divisions,
  Would fight their enemy toe to toe.
Twenty-three thousand Japanese did try,
  And for their efforts nearly all would die.
On 23 February 1945 our colors would rise,
  For all aboard ship and island could see,
Yet the fighting would rage 'till the 15th of March,
  Before the island of Iwo could be called free.
Secretary of the Navy uttered to General Smith,
  "Holland, the raising of that flag on Mt. Suribachi,
Means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."
  Let us hope and pray these words are prophetic,
And in the year 2445, Marines will once more gather,
  To preserve and keep our traditions alive.
Nearly 7,000 Marines would pay the ultimate price,
  For this sulphurac volcanic isle,
So near the Japanese homeland it was a deadly costly trial.
  And now sixty-two years have passed,
Since U.S. Marines stormed ashore,
  And the furious bloody battle for Iwo Jima,
Is now a legend within our Corps.
  Let us all pause and remember Marines who paid the price,
For the freedoms we all now share, due to their sacrifice.
  And to those Marines still with us,
Who survived this bloody, bitter fight,
  All are truly heroes in the years of their twilight.
Now let us raise our glass in a toast to one and all.
  "To those who never came home,
For that hellish black volcanic shore,
  Their memories will live forever,
For they are truly heroes of our Corps!
  And at our final muster,
We will look each other in the eye,
  And say Welcome Aboard Marine,
Well done and ... Semper Fi!"


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Honor, Courage, Commitment

These men are all warriors,
  And friends of mine,
All struck from a mold of another time.
  Born to wear the scarlet and gold,
They are U.S. Marines, both brave and bold.
  When called upon to protect this land,
Each one stepped forward to raise their hand.
  They swore to protect not just you and me,
But preserve and defend others liberty.
  All have fought on a distant shore,
They are the elite Marines of our Corps.
  Do you know someone who would die for you,
And if need be you for them?
  Our ethos speaks of character,
As the Marines of our Corps will attest.
  We have fought this republic's battles,
And surpassed each and every test.
  Each November 10 Marines will gather,
On the birthday of our Corps,
  To raise their glass in honor,
Of all Marines who went before.
  We'll speak of honor, courage & commitment,
These are words we all live by,
  And close with a toast of well wishes,
And a heartfelt--Semper Fi!


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Korean War Remembered

The year was 1950 and with a fragrant summer's balm,
  Troops from North Korea
Invaded the "Land of the Morning Calm."
  Sixty years have now come and gone,
Since that fateful June summer day,
  When American forces were thrust into the fray.
For all those men who fought there,
  It was a long and bitter war,
As we lost too many of our brothers,
  They were all warriors within our Corps.
Yet the President and the pundits,
  Called Korea the "Forgotten War",
But for those who died and shed their blood,
  It meant so much more.
We saved a budding nation from tyranny and strife,
  And breathed hope in South Korea,
That they would have their freedom,
  And renewed their hopes of life.
South Koreans have no doubt,
  That "Freedom is not free."
They are thankful for those who paid the price,
  For their families and liberty.
So let us now remember the sacrifice they bore,
  These men of the First Marine Division,
These warriors of our beloved Corps.
  The "Forgotten War" is now remembered,
At least by those who trod the valleys and the hills,
  The stifling sweat of summer,
And the bitter, freezing winter chills.
  Hopefully one day the two Koreas will reunite,
Once again sharing and caring for their,
  "Land of the Morning Calm."


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Easy Two Seven

I'm an 0311 a ground pounding grunt,
  With Easy Two Seven.
We humped those damn Korean hills,
  And still can feel those wintry chills.
If it wasn't the cold it was the monsoon rain,
  But all in all we felt the pain.
We'd climb a hill, dig in for the night,
  And prepare ourselves for a fire fight.
The Chinese liked to scream and yell,
  And our Marines would respond,
And send them all to hell!
  They tried to advance but never got far,
Thanks to the M-1 and the BAR.
  Time after time the Chinese tried,
And for their efforts, they all died.
  Then morning came and we'd saddle up,
Shake off the morning chill,
  We are mud Marines from Easy Two Seven,
Our next objective another hill.
  Now sixty years later those of us left,
All gather together with others,
  You see, we are Marines from E-2-7
And are forever....a band of brothers!


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E-2-7 Reunion

Let me tell you a story of men I knew before,
  They are Marines of Easy-Two-Seven,
All warriors of our Corps.
  They fought in the monsoon rains of summer,
Then in Korea's frozen hills up north,
  Often trading the same old fox holes,
As they battled back and forth.
  Now looking back I wouldn't trade,
The memories we all together share,
  As each reunion brings us closer,
And the tales told show we care.
  After all it wouldn't be a reunion,
Without sharing sea stories from the past,
  Let's face it they all sound better,
Than they did in the year just passed.
  So raise your glass and offer up a toast,
"To all Marines from Easy-Two-Seven,
  It has been an honor to serve with you,
And I would do it for evermore,
  Semper Fidelis to you Marine,
And to our beloved Corps!"


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We Must Never Forget

Remember the Alamo!  Remember Pearl Harbor!
  And another day we must always remember,
Is that fateful date the eleventh of September,
  The year was two-thousand-one,
And the black smoke from the Twin Towers,
  Blotted our the morning sun.
Nearly three thousand Americans died this day,
  And a mournful Nation was left to pray.
All America rallied as they did before,
  And all vowed to win this terrorist war.
We must always remember those citizens who died,
  Those who gave us our precious liberty.
Since the founding of our Republic brave men and women,
  Have fought to keep us free.
They served in our Armed Forces,
  And on the home front too,
They died so we might live in peace,
  Under the Red, the White and Blue.
So when we pause to remember,
  Those who paid the ultimate price,
It is only fitting and proper to recall their sacrifice.
  Not only on Memorial or even Veterans Day,
We should say a daily "thank you",
  To all the members of our Armed Forces,
For their venture into Harm's Way.
  We must remain ever vigilant,
There is no room for complacency or error,
  If we are to remain forever free,
We must win this fanatical...WAR ON TERROR!
  And while we remember The Alamo,
And the sneak attack upon Pearl Harbor,
  Let us always remember those who perished in 2001,
On the morning of the 11th of September!


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Our Corps

My Corps, Your Corps, Our Corps.
  We are ready at a moment's notice,
To march to the sound of the guns,
  Our training and devotion to country,
Is what guides us in what is right.
  We are U.S. Marines and as it should be,
We are "The First to Fight".
  Since the founding of our beloved Corps,
In the year Seventeen-seventy-five,
  Marines have banded together,
So that our republic may survive.
  To those who would attack us,
You have failed to calculate,
  As a U.S. Marine with his weapon
Will have sealed your miserable fate.
  All America has banded together,
To fight this terrorist war.
  And as U.S. Marines we will continue,
To bring honor to our Corps!


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Freedom and Liberty

Rest peacefully tonight America,
  The United States Marine Corps has your back.
We are ready at a moment's notice,
  To vanquish any hostile attack.
There has always been our motto,
  We are "The First to Fight."
We will be on guard to protect our nation,
  From all enemies who dare attack us.
Since the founding of our republic,
  In the year Seventeen-Seventy-Five,
Marines have been in the forefront,
  To see that America will survive.
We train in peace to prepare for war,
  As we must remain forever free,
And destroy those who would,
  Terrorize us and take our freedom and liberty.
So, once again America, we are on guard for you,
  We are our nation's 911 force,
For we are U.S. Marines, The Proud! The Few!


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Semper Fidelis

Semper Fidelis is the motto of our Corps,
  Be it in peacetime or in the time of war.
These are words we live by, shared by a very few,
  all have sworn allegiance to defend,
The red, white and blue.
  since the founding of our beloved Corps in 1775,
Those who have worn the eagle, globe and anchor,
  Have fought to keep this nation alive.
We must always treasure liberty,
  If we are to remain forever free.
We are truly a band of brothers,
  We are soldiers of the sea.
Why would others mock our flag,
  and even watch it burn?
When in the hearts of every Marine,
  There is a prideful yearn.
This yearn says..."Protect this Flag",
  We cannot let it burn.  Too many Marines have died,
While others will never return.
  In all the battles our Corps has fought,
We have always turned the tide<
  The Marine Corps has taught us well,
The meaning of Corps and pride.
  Corps and pride go hand in hand,
As we remember our brothers who have died.
  They truly understood the meaning of Liberty!
Let each of us remember, the red, the white and blue,
  This symbol of our freedom,
Obtained by those we never knew.
  Each time I hear the Marine Corps Hymn,
My heart is filled with pride.
  And I'll say a silent "Thank You" prayer,
For my country and the Marines who died.
  Semper Fidelis, these two words ring true,
As Marines we shall always be on guard,
  To protect the red, the white and blue!


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Yellow Foot Prints

The time was 0300, when we pulled into MCRD,
  Then someone shouted! Get out! & Follow Me!
We hurriedly scrambled out of the buses,
  Not sure of just what to expect.
It didn't take us long though, to show the D.I. our respect.
  He yelled! stand on the yellow foot-prints,
Let me see what we have in store.
  Do your mommas really know you left home,
In hopes of joining our fabled Corps?
  One thing you best remember,
You are "recruits" and NOT Marines,
  So, get used to the idea of no long hair or blue jeans.
The next twelve weeks are crucial,
  You'll soon see what I mean,
You will bond together, and together will be a team.
  Teamwork is the essence of what we're all about,
And next time on the "grinder", you'll hear them sing & shout.
  "Lift your head and hold it high,
The best on the Depot is marchin' on by."
  The "best on the Depot" could be you,
the next twelve weeks will mean,
  You'll have to count on teamwork,
If you ever hope to be a Marine.
  The training is now over,
The feeling of accomplishment is great,
  As your parents, friends and relatives,
Gather to watch you graduate.
  Never forget the yellow foot-prints,
They have been stood upon before,
  By countless other Marines,
Who brought honor to our Corps.
  Eagle, Globe and Anchor,
These three words could say no more,
  For they bind all Marines together,
As proud members of the corps.
  Yellow Foot-Prints were just the beginning,
You now wear Marine Corps Green,
  So, welcome to the Brotherhood.
The Few, The Proud.... The Marine!


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Dreams and Battles

It used to be when I was young
  I'd dream of battles fought and won.
I was with Washington at Valley Forge,
  And finally at Yorktown too.
It was here that General Cornwallis
  Finally met "his Waterloo."
Many wars and battles were within our land,
  And then in 1861 the Civil War was at hand.
When the War Between the States was finished,
  A half a century would then go by--
Then it was the Great War as Europe was aflame,
  And American doughboys,
Would then be called upon once again.
  It was here at Belleau Wood,
U.S. Marines would take a stand,
  And once again I fought this battle
To help save a war-torn land.
  I found again during WWII,
On far-off Pacific isles,
  And when this war was over,
We encountered other trials.
  War broke out on Asian soil,
As North Korea invaded
  Their neighbors to the South,
And the entire peninsula would boil.
  Later on Marines would muster,
In a place called Vietnam,
  and once more I fought this battle,
And to this day still believe we won.
  Then came battles in the desert,
In places called Iraq and Afghanistan,
  Where we try to establish democracy,
In this ancient and bitter land.
  Now as I grow older,
I recall my boyish dream,
  Of fighting my country's battles,
As part of my Marine Corps team.
  There comes a time to say farewell,
To our dreams and battles won.
  Knowing full well that my life,
Is now forever serene--
  As I served my God and country as a
United States Marine!


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Yellow Footprints

I stood on the yellow footprints,
  And wondered, what's in store.
A lean D.I. in a Smokey Bear yelled out,
  Welcome to my beloved Corps!
Look straight ahead, don't even blink,
  You are the lowest form of life.
I'm your momma and your poppa,
  God help you if you had a wife.
For the next 12 weeks you belong to me,
  And the first words,
Out of your mouth will be,
  Sir! Yes Sir! And just to make this clear,
You'll shout out loud for everyone to hear.
  Remember, you are not Marines
You're a pitiful sight to see,
  But I am here to transform you,
From boys to men, to soldiers of the sea.
  From the looks of you people,
Twelve weeks is not nearly enough,
  But I'll guarantee you one thing,
And this is "off the cuff",
  By the time you leave here,
You'll know what it means to be tough.
  so, stand tall recruit and remember,
Once you've passed the crucible test,
  You will then be called Marine,
And join our Marine Corps Best.  Semper Fidelis!


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Remember Us

The above title says it all,
  It's a statement!  Not a question?
Because we miss them one and all!
  Hereafter, we must always remember,
They will never be forgotten,
  As we set aside a special day,
To pay our respects and honor,
  All our veterans listed as POW/MIA.
On the 3rd Friday of each September
  We'll recognize those who never came home.
As a nation we must take time to remember.
  Our prisoners of war & those missing still,
Have only strengthened our resolve & will.
  For as long as we have liberty,
We'll continue our search to set all free.
  The sacrifice they made we cannot measure,
But we must never, ever forget them,
  For the freedom they gave to us,
We shall forever treasure!
  So, until they all come home,
Let's pause, pray and remember,
  All those still unaccounted for,
On this 3rd Friday in September.


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Marine Corps Heritage

Let me share a story with you,
  About U.S. Marines, The Proud, The Few.
They have always repulsed our enemies,
  In the air, on land and sea,
And for over 230 years, our Republic remains free.
  Each Marine has earned their title,
It has been earned through their sacrifice,
  Some bled for Corps and Country,
While others paid the ultimate price.
  From their rigorous training at Boot Camps,
On the coasts both East and West,
  Young American's fulfill their heritage,
And as Warriors are our Nation's best.
  They are truly America's 911 Force,
Always serving at the Tip of the Spear,
  And at each and every Graduation,
Receive their Nation's rousing cheer.
  So to all who have worn Marine Corps Green,
And have donned their sharp Dress Blues,
  As grateful Americans we say "thank you",
For your dedicated service in paying your "dues".
  As you now depart and receive orders,
To maybe serve aboard ship or on shore,
  We all pause to shout--OORAH!
You are a credit to your country and Corps.


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National Museum of the Marine Corps

The National Museum of the Marine is finally a reality,
  A tribute to all Americans a National Treasure for all to see.
Wisdom, foresight and devotion,
  Are apparent to all who enter here.
As the stories of our Nation's Marines are graphically made clear.
  As Americans we all know that freedom is not free,
And that Honor, Courage and Commitment,
  Have been put forth for you and me.
For more than two centuries Marines have fought and died,
  And in each and every battle their bravery turned the tide.
So, now enjoy your visit, make certain to tell your friends,
  Tell them the Museum has a beginning, but never, ever ends.
From the American Revolution in 1775, the second Continental Congress,
  Authorized two battalions of Marines,
In order for this fledgling Republic to survive.
  Then came the British surrender in 1781 and ever since that time,
U.S. Marines have fought our wars and won.
  All through the 1800's Marines would go ashore,
And of course they participated in our fateful Civil War.
  Remember this National Museum of the Marine Corps,
I am certain you will agree is a testament to all Marines,
  Who throughout the years have fought to keep us free.
These doors will always remain open, the Marine story will be told,
  You will see for yourself through your own eyes,
The countless acts of heroism as these stories quickly unfold.
  So, please enjoy your time here, come back often to see,
Just what Marines are preserving as "Soldiers of the Sea".
  If you have enjoyed your visit, remember please to tell us,
We extend our very best wishes to you, and of course to all,
  SEMPER FIDELIS!


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Purple Heart1

George Washington designed a Medal in 1782,
  To honor those who shed their blood,
During our war for Independence.
  It was a heart shaped badge,
Made from purple cloth and white silk,
  Awarded so those who were wounded may share it,
The President created, the "Badge of Military Merit".
  One-hundred-fifty years later,
In the year of our Lord nineteen-hundred-thirty-two,
  A modern form of this medal,
Would be authorized anew!
  Now, it is called The Purple Heart,
And takes its' place in the Pyramid of Honor.
  Awarded only to those combat wounded,
Who so faithfully served their nation,
  The Purple Heart has become a beautiful decoration.
The heart shaped medal is suspended,
  From cloth both purple and white,
With the profile of President George Washington,
  It is truly a magnificent sight.
So, to all who wear The Purple Heart,
  Your sacrifice helped keep this nation free,
You are truly an American patriot,
  For the entire world to see.
Since our early Revolution where the medal had its start,
  Stand tall, you've certainly earned it,
Take pride in your...Purple Heart!


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Purple Heart

Every story must have a start,
  Let me tell you of the Purple Heart.
In the year of our Lord 1772,
  During our war of independence,
George Washington designed a medal,
  Awarded those who shed blood to protect us.
Originally known as the Badge of Military Merit,
  Thousands of Americans now proudly wear it.
It is now known as the Purple Heart,
  And takes its place in the pyramid of honor.
Awarded only to those combat wounded,
  Who so faithfully served their nation.
The Purple Heart has since 1932,
  Become a most cherished decoration.
This heart shaped medal is suspended,
  From cloth both purple and white,
With the profile of George Washington,
  It is truly a magnificent sight.
So to all who wear the Purple Heart,
  Your sacrifice helped keep us free,
You are truly an American patriot,
  In this land of freedom and liberty.
And now to conclude this story,
  From our early revolution,
Where the medal had its start,
  Remember to stand tall you've earned it,
Take pride in your...Purple Heart!


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Our Flag Unfurled

Our Flag is unfurled for all to see,
  A symbol of our cherished liberty.
For over 200 years brave men have fought,
  To secure the freedoms many have sought.
There are 13 stripes and a field of blue,
  The bright white stars represent me and you.
It was in Philadelphia on 14 June,
  In the year of our Lord 1777,
Our Stars and Stripes had a special hew,
  When Congress adopted, the Red, White & Blue.
Some will say it is only a piece of cloth,
  So what does it really matter,
If some people burn or desecrate in some disgraceful manner.
  To most the Flag is an inspiration,
For in 1814 as Old Glory waved for all to see,
  Above the Fort named McHenry,
A poet wrote the Star Spangled Banner,
  His name was Francis Scott Key.
What do you feel as our Flag passes by,
  A spine-tingling chill? a tear in the eye?
To me it means freedom all citizens crave,
  In this land of the free, this home of the brave.
So on 14 June as we celebrate Flag Day,
  Pause for a moment, reflect and pray.
Pray that this Nation remains ever free,
  As we honor those patriots,
Who fought to give us freedom and liberty.


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Eagle, Globe and Anchor

The Eagle, Globe and Anchor,
  Three words which bind us together,
We are U.S. Marines and will cherish this title forever.
  The Eagle, Globe and Anchor,
Is well known throughout the land,
  And past history tells one and all,
Where we have made a stand.
  We have fought for others freedom,
To help establish peace and liberty,
  The Eagle, Globe and Anchor says it all,
For we are truly, Soldiers of the Sea!
  Two Battalions of Marines were formed in 1775,
Now, over 230 years later our Corps and Nation still survive.
  The Eagle, Globe and Anchor,
Is the bond forged in peace and war,
  All Marines proudly wear it,
As a testament to our beloved Corps.
  In all the battles the Corps has fought,
We have always turned the tide,
  The discipline and training have taught us well,
The meaning of Corps and pride.
  So to all who have earned this emblem,
Here is my toast to each of you,
  "May the Eagle, Globe and Anchor
  Always see you through."


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Remember Us

Remember the Alamo!  Remember Pearl Harbor!
  And another day we must always remember,
Is that fateful date the eleventh of September.
  The year was two-thousand-one,
And the black smoke from the Twin Towers,
  Blotted out the morning sun.
Nearly three thousand Americans died this day,
  And a mournful Nation was left to pray.
All America rallied as they did before,
  And all vowed to win this terrorist war.
We must always remember those citizens who died,
  Those who gave us our precious liberty.
Since the founding of our Republic brave men and women,
  Have fought to keep us free.
They served in our Armed Forces,
  And on the home front too.
They died so we might live in peace,
  Under the Red, the White and Blue.
So when we pause to remember,
  Those who paid the ultimate price,
It is only fitting and proper to recall their sacrifice.
  Not only on Memorial or even Veterans Day,
We should say a daily "thank you",
  To all the members of our Armed Forces,
For their venture into Harm's Way.
  We must remain ever vigilant,
There is no room for complacency or error,
  If we are to remain forever free,
We must win this fanatical war on terror.
  And while we remember The Alamo,
And the sneak attack upon Pearl Harbor,
  Let us always remember those who perished in 2001,
On the morning of the 11th of September!


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A Birthday Toast

Let me tell you a story,
  or Marines both brave and bold.
They serve in far off foreign lands,
  And protect our nation's shore.
Each proudly wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor,
  The symbol of our Corps.
Since the founding of our beloved Corps,
  In Seventeen-Seventy-Five,
Marines have borne the brunt of battle,
  Just to keep our republic alive.
Now 232 years have passed,
  And we gather to celebrate.
Our United States Marine Corps birthday,
  A most significant date.
Let me now finish this story,
  And with glasses raised on high,
Let me propose this toast.
  "To all Marines wherever you are,
Be it on land in the air or on shore,
  To each of you... Happy Birthday!
You are a credit to country and Corps.


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Where Heroes Rest

We gathered at Tahoma National Cemetery,
  Where our heroes are laid to rest,
The granite headstones a testament,
  That all indeed are our Nation's best.
Each headstone has a story to tell,
  And if we only look to see,
They are this Nation's sons and daughters,
  Who fought for freedom and liberty.
It really makes no difference now,
  What uniform they wore,
Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard,
  Or the United States Marine Corps.
What does make a difference,
  Is the sacrifice each one paid.
Now it is up to us the living,
  To honor the promises we made.
We promise to always remember you,
  To keep Freedom's Torch aflame,
And that future generations will honor you the same.
  And now the Flag is neatly folded,
The rifle volley done with precise care,
  As the mournful sound of echo Taps,
Fills the cemetery's once quiet air.
  How very much we treasure,
This sacred, and hallowed ground,
  for it is here at Tahoma National Cemetery,
That truly serves our Nation's best,
  It is a final journey,
A place...Where Heroes Rest.


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Gerald Foley, US Marine

His name was Gerald Foley,
  His time on earth is no more.
As fellow Marines will gather,
  To honor this hero of our Corps.
He fought in many battles,
  Yet never did complain,
Be it in the freezing cold of Korea,
  Or in his waning years in pain.
He took great pride in belonging,
  Along with other Marines he knew,
To share their Korean War experiences,
  As members of the--Chosin Few.
This elite group of warriors,
  Will miss their friend indeed,
For Gerald Foley was the kind of man,
  And was the epitome of,
The Marine Corps breed!
  Rest assured St. Peter
Will welcome Gerry home,
  As he and General Louie,
Will have Heaven's streets to roam.
  So, stand tall as you remember,
This Marine we all called friend,
  As the Firing Detail,
And the mournful sound of Taps,
  Brings closure to an end.
This final salute we now render,
  From all Marines Gerry knew,
Including the Marine Corps League, and I-3-7,
  and of course--The Chosin Few.


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Good to Go

Since the founding of our beloved Corps,
  In Seventeen-Seventy-Five,
Marines have fought this nation's wars,
  To keep our republic alive.
Be it in the steamy jungles,
  Or in Mountains covered with snow,
the U.S. Marines will be there,
  As we are always, "Good to Go!"
"Good to Go" is our lingo
  for getting the mission done,
To defeat our nation's enemies,
  And savor victories won.
"Good to Go" is our answer,
  As we master the rocks & shoals,
To serve our nation proudly,
  Is one of every Marine's goals.
So, next time you see a U.S. Marine,
  All loaded down with gear,
Remember, he's "Good to Go",
  He's at the tip of the spear!


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Remember Iwo Jima

Do you remember Iwo Jima, a far off Pacific Isle?
  It was here that 20,000 Marines
Would face a bitter and deadly trial.
  For thirty-six bloody days against a fantastic foe,
Marines of the 3rd, 4th & 5th Divisions,
  Would fight their bitter enemy toe to toe.
Twenty-three thousand Japanese did try,
  And for their efforts nearly all would die.
On 23 February our Colors would rise,
  For all on the Island to see,
Yet the fighting would rage 'til the 15th of March,
  Before the Island of Iwo could be called free.
Secretary of the Navy uttered to General Smith,
  "Holland, the raising of that flag on Mt. Suribachi,
  Means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."
Let us hope these words are prophetic,
  And in the year 2445, Marines will once more gather,
To keep our traditions alive.
  Nearly 7,000 Marines would pay the ultimate price,
For this black volcanic Isle,
  So near the Japanese homeland, it was a deadly, costly trial.
And now sixty years have passed,
  Since U.S. Marines stormed ashore,
And the battle for Iwo Jima,
  Is now a legend within our Corps.
Let us all pause and remember,
  Those Marines who paid the price,
For the freedoms we all now share,
  All due to their sacrifice.
And to those Marines still with us,
  Who survived the bitter fight,
All are truly heroes in the years of their twilight.
  Now, let us raise our glass in a toast to all.
"To those who never came home,
  From that hellish, black volcanic shore.
Their memories will live forever,
  For they are truly heroes of our Corps!
And at our final muster,
  We'll look each other in the eye,
And say, welcome aboard Marine,
  Well done and Semper Fi!"


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Happy Birthday Marines

H...onorable warriors throughout the land
A...lways prepared to take a stand
P...roud to wear uniforms of green
P...repared to bear the title of U.S. Marine
Y...ears of training keeps us steady

B...eing on guard we are always ready
I...n peace or war we are here for you
R...eady to defend the Red, White and Blue
T...hanks to those who went before
H...onorable Marines who served our Corps
D...uty-Honor-Commitment-Courage
A...ll words Marines live by
Y...earning to keep traditions alive

M...arines will forever strive
A...lways ready is one of our goals
R...egardless of an enemy or rocks and shoals
I...ntense desire to be the best
N...o doubt Marines will pass this test
E...ach who dons Marine Corps Green or wears their sharp Dress Blues
S...emper Fidelis Marines...you all have paid your dues!


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Happy Birthday Marines

In the year of our Lord 1775,
  A fledgling Republic came alive.
The second Continental Congress would proclaim,
  That defending this Nation would be their aim.
A call went out throughout the land,
  To seek brave men who would take a stand.
A Battalion of men would soon take form,
  And a Corps of Marines were then born.
And ever since that day serene,
  This Nation has been served by a U.S. Marine.
Now 230 years later we pause to celebrate,
  The Birthday of our beloved Corps,
And to those Marines who made us great.
  From the first Commandant Samuel Nicholas,
To our current Commandant General Hagee,
  And to all those Marines in between<
We are proud to claim the title of,
  UNITED STATES MARINE.
So wherever you are, be it on ship or shore,
  Happy Birthday Marine to you and our Corps.


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My Friend Bob

Who are these men we call Marines,
  Mostly just youngsters in their teens.
They saw the posters that said, "I want you",
  Then joined, "The Finest, The Proud, The Few."
Then came "boot camp", training and more,
  They were now Marines & part of the Corps.
Soon they departed the friendly shore,
  Boarded transports and off to war.
During the last major battle of WWII,
  The Island of Okinawa came into view,
And my friend Bob Boardman...was one of the "Few."
  Then on 17 June of 1945,
Bob was severely wounded, but thankfully still alive.
  While the Japanese were on their flanks,
Bob fought on with his men on their tanks.
  For eighty-one days men fought and died,
And for their efforts turned the tide.
  The battle for Okinawa now secure,
But for eighty plus days the outcome was not sure.
  Only two years earlier on an Island in New Guinea,
My friend Bob Boardman would bend a knee.
  Bob accepted Jesus Christ, as his Lord and Savior,
And has lived his life to repay Jesus' favor.
  the Good Lord has sent Bob,
So we all can see, just what is in store for you and me.
  For if we believe the Lord is just,
Then following in His footsteps is certainly a must.
  Bob survived, for it was meant to be,
That the Good Lord said, "Bob, pick up your cross and follow Me."


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My Friend Bob

Who are these men we call Marines,
  Mostly just youngsters in their teens.
They saw the posters that said, "I want you",
  Then joined, "The Finest, The Proud, The Few".
Then came "boot camp", training and more,
  They were now Marines and part of the Corps.
Soon they departed the friendly shore,
  Boarded transports and off to war.
During the last major battle of WWII,
  The island of Okinawa came into view.
And my friend Bob Boardman...was one of the "Few."
  then on 17 June of 1945,
Bob was severely wounded, but thankfully still alive.
  While the Japanese were on their flanks,
Bob fought on with his men on their tanks.
  For eighty-one days men fought and died,
And for their efforts turned the tide.
  The battle for Okinawa now secure,
But for eighty plus days the outcome was not sure.
  Only two years earlier on an Island in New Guinea,
My friend Bob Boardman would bend a knee.
  Bob accepted Jesus Christ, as his Lord and Savior,
And has lived his life to repay Jesus' favor.
  the Good Lord has sent bob,
So we all can see, just what is in store for you and me.
  For if we believe the Lord is just,
Then following in His footsteps is certainly a must.
  Bob survived, for it was meant to be,
That the Good Lord said, "Bob, pick up your cross and
 follow Me." (Psalm 28:7)


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Dress Blues

Do you remember Veterans Day,
  When marching bands,
Were allowed to play?
  When soldiers, sailors
And Marines marched by,
  They touched our hearts,
And made us cry.
  There were Army squads & Navy crews,
Then came the Marines,
  In their sharp dress blues.
Who are these people, I had to ask,
  Then a veteran Marine
Took me to task.
  Son these are Marines you see here,
As the crowds sang out,
  And shouted a cheer.
They are the finest warriors,
  Throughout the land,
As they marched in cadence,
  With the Marine Corps Band.
It was then I knew that surely one day,
  I would join the Corps,
And would earn my pay.
  First there was boot camp,
Where I earned my dues,
  Yet a long, long way,
From wearing my blues.
  After boot camp on San Diego's shore,
We boarded transports & off to war.
  All decked out in our herringbone,
Our pride in Corps & country was shown.
  Soon we'd be on the evening news,
Yet, a long, long way from wearing dress blues.
  Years passed by and we became old,
Remembering those Marines who were so bold.
  They fought and died for you and me,
For country, corps and liberty.
  Let's all pause, pray and give thanks,
To those Marines who once filled our ranks.
  I'm proud to stand as our flag goes by,
To see those gathered with a tear in the eye.
  For at long last, having paid my dues,
I am finally wearing my sharp dress blues.


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The Fighting Fourth Division

We gather here as Marines today,
  From the east, west, south and north.
Shoulder to shoulder we battled together,
  As warriors from the "Fighting Fourth."
There was Roi-Namur, Saipan and Tinian, too,
  Then on 19 February '45 Iwo Jima came into view.
For thirty-six days we fought and died,
  On this black volcanic sand.
As Marines of the Fourth Division,
  We had to take a stand.
Our memories recall the battles,
  On these far off Pacific Isles,
As young Marines we answered,
  And were tested by these trials.
And now we've come to honor,
  Those warriors we left behind,
For these Marines of the Fourth Division,
  Were truly one of a kind.
They will always be remembered,
  By each of us gathered here,
For in our mind's eye we still see them,
  We say God Bless You and shed a tear.
Now, stand with me and raise your glass,
  Make sure you hold it high,
As we propose this toast:
        "To all Marines of the Fighting Fourth,
             We raise our glass to you.
        To let you know how proud we are,
             To once have served with you.
        For soon we all shall meet once more,
             Look each other in the eye,
        And say, welcome aboard Marine,
             Well done and...Semper Fi!"


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Okinawa - The Last Major Battle of World War II

It was Easter Sunday, April Fool's Day, too,
  Then the L-Day (Landing Day) came into view.
With four Divisions landing abreast,
  Marines and soldiers would be put to the test.
The island of Okinawa was the landing site,
  Where Japanese defenders vowed to fight.
For the next eighty-one days the battle raged,
  And American forces were fully engaged.
Grunts on the ground would express their thanks,
  To all those Marines from C-Company tanks,
These iron monsters shooting flames of fire,
  Rapidly decreased the enemies' desire.
While cave-to-cave fighting was commonplace,
  Japanese defenders would soon lose face.
Through the days of bitter fighting,
  There was no time to be bored,
Thanks to God who would save me, my Savior, my Lord.
  It was Father's Day, the 17th of June,
A Sunday that I remember well,
  For it was on this island of Okinawa,
Where we were witnesses to hell.
  It became known as "The Father's Day Massacre",
And now let me tell you why
  As countless dear friends and comrades,
Were to be wounded this day and die.
  It was here that valiant men,
Would form a life long bridge,
  In places they called "No-Man's Valley",
And of course there was "Kunishi Ridge".
  There was Joe, Charley, Jerry and Nick,
Can't forget Ed, D.I. Walt, Walter, Phil, Louie & Barwick.
  Of course there are so many more,
As all are true heroes of our Corps.
  Now, sixty years have come and gone,
Since brave men fought and died,
  We shall forever remember them,
And to those who fought and survived.
  How should we remember,
This last major battle of World War II
  This battle which involved thousands,
Now remembered by only a few.
  Let us honor them with Memorials,
Monuments and more, for surely they will remain,
  As long as there is a Marine Corps.
One thing is for certain we can do each day,
  That is to pause, reflect and remember,
And in our own way pray.
  Pray for those who went ashore,
And now rest in Hallowed ground,
  We can at least extend our hand,
To those Marines who are still around. (Psalm 18)


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American Hero

My hero is every American
  Who put on the uniform
Of his country.
  Who unselfishly said to himself,
Yes, I will fight, and if necessary,
  Die for what I believe.
Yet, there are some among us,
  Who would burn our flag,
And defile those who would protect it.
  They call themselves Americans,
But hesitate to uphold,
  What our forefathers bravely gave;
Their lives, their fortunes,
  And their sacred honor.
A true patriot is willing,
  To sacrifice and to protect,
The majority of his countrymen.
  Today's heroes, as those in the past,
Proudly proclaim the Latin phrase,
  "Non sibi sed patriae."
Not for self--but for country.
  Benjamin Franklin, a true statesman,
On 1 July 1776 remarked,
  We must all hang together,
Or assuredly, we shall all hang separately."
  It is people such as these,
Be they soldier, sailor, airman, coastguard,
  or United States Marine.
Who are truly our American heroes.


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Boot Camp

I never dreamed of what's in store,
  Until I up and joined the U.S. Marine Corps.
First a train ride to a sunny clime,
  a good thing we were in our prime.
Off the train and onto  a bus,
  We arrived in San Diego where the DI's met us.
"You People" will never be in my Corps,
  You look like something that washed ashore."
Our job here is to make Marines,
  Not to baby sit a bunch of teens in jeans!
In the next eleven weeks we have a plan,
  To transform you from boy to man.
You'll either succeed or you will fail,
  There is no middle ground.
So, Listen Up! do your very best, and you will be around.
  Remember, you are not yet Marines!
Just a bunch of raw recruits, until that Graduation Day,
  We will refer to you as "boots".
So, if you want to be a Marine,
  And enter our beloved Corps,
Just follow in the footsteps of those legends who went before.
  There will always be battles,
In order to keep our Nation free,
  So, it's up to each of us as Marines,
For we are truly "Soldiers of the Sea".
  And now it's Graduation Day,
Parents, friends and loved ones are on the scene,
  As you rightfully claim the title of,
      United States Marine!


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The Red, White and Blue

Red is the color of the blood they shed,
  White was the landscape where they tread,
Blue was the sky above the snow,
  That winter in Korea so long ago.
To those Marines who fought and died,
  We cherish their memories,
We share their pride.
  Pride in country, pride in our Corps,
Marines who follow can do no more!
  We truly are a band of brothers,
We've bled in every war,
  We've fought for others' freedom,
Since the founding of the corps.
  So when you see the Colors go by...,
The Red, the White and Blue,
  Remember Marine you're one of a kind,
You are one of a select few.


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Marines of 8th & I

Next time you go to Washington,
  To our Nation's Capitol in DC
Plan to stop by the Marine Barracks,
  And you'll witness history.
if this place could only speak,
  Of Marines who came before,
And served their Nation proudly,
  At this "Oldest Post of the Corps."
The year was 1801 when Thomas Jefferson,
  Selected this location,
And Marines have been quartered continually,
  To serve their Corps and Nation.
When the British marched on Washington,
  In the year of 1812,
And burning everything in sight,
  Marines repulsed their attacks,
Sending them to flight.
  The British then burned the capitol,
And the White House they did try,
  But they were quickly dispatched,
At this place called 8th & Eye.
  For it is here at 8th & I,
From May through August you'll hear,
  The sounds of John Phillip Sousa,
Ringing out loud and clear.
  It is here each Friday night,
That the "President's Own" WILL PLAY,
  This is the United States Marine Band,
You are in for a treat this day.
  The hour is 2100,
And the Evening Parade will start,
  As the Ceremonial Honor Guard,
Will most surely touch your heart.
  150 U.S. Marines assemble in Blue and White,
All march in perfect unison, a truly inspiring sight.
  150 rifles held in white-gloved hands,
The Bugler has sounded Assembly,
  And now there is silence in the stands.
The Silent Drill Platoon, twenty-four rifles in all,
  With gleaming steel Bayonets now fixed,
Shatter the evening silence after Adjutant's Call.
  Their M-1 rifles strike as one, upon the grassy deck,
As six platoons of U.S. Marines soon Pass in Review,
  There is yet one thing in store,
As a Scarlet Clad lone Bugler, plays Taps,
  To honor those fallen Marines of our Corps.
The Evening Parade is now over,
  You have been a part of history,
so rest easy tonight America,
  Your Marine Corps is on watch,
In the Air, on Land and Sea.


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Iwo Jima Remembrance

We walked and talked with legends,
  On this Iwo Jima Remembrance Day,
For each of them wrote history,
  and we listened to what they say.
They were veterans of a bitter battle,
  On a far off Pacific shore,
All were United States Marines,
  and a credit to their Corps.
The Island was called Iwo Jima,
  Just another name for hell on earth,
As nearly 7,000 Marines would die,
  Many only 20 years from their birth.
For thirty-six days, they fought and bled,
  On this black volcanic sand,
To wrest this piece of sulfur rock,
  From the fanatic Japanese command.
Of course, the rest is now history.
  Each Marine we honor here played a part,
All assembled wish to thank them,
  From the bottom of our heart.
Now, it is D-Day+1; plus another 54 years,
  As we gather here on this remembrance day,
To honor each of you with our applause and cheers.
  And to those Marines who never came home,
From that hellish, black volcanic shore,
  Their memories will live forever,
For they are the true heroes of our beloved Corps.
  At our final muster, we'll look each other in the eye,
And say, well done Marine, welcome aboard, and Semper Fi!


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The Tip of the Spear

Rest easy America--do not fear,
  We are U.S. Marines, "The tip of the spear."
First to go and "first to fight",
  We'll confront the wrongs,
And help make them right.
  For freedom and democracy,
Go hand in hand, no matter what continent,
  In a far off land.
To protect our national security goals,
  We'll cross the dangerous rocks & shoals.
As Marines before us led the way,
  And fought to keep us free,
We that follow can do no less,
  To preserve freedom and liberty.
So, sleep in peace America,
  No need to fret nor fear,
Our nation's 911 force of Marines,
  Are at "The tip of the spear"!


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A U.S. Marine

He is a warrior, this friend of mine,
  Struck from a mold of another time.
Born to wear the Scarlet and Gold,
  A U.S. Marine, both brave and bold!
He fought on far off Pacific Isles,
  And four different battles would be his trials.
He helped to turn the Japanese tide,
  And served with honor, courage and pride.
There was Roi-Namur, Saipan, Tinian too,
  Then came Iwo Jima out of the blue.
For thirty-six days in black volcanic sand,
  Brave Marines were to fight and stand.
And stand they did as Marines before,
  As they all wrote history for country and Corps.
This friend of mine, his name is John,
  And though he'll never say,
Of what he and other Marines endured,
  In these battles along the way.
As a member of K-3-24, of the "Fighting Fourth Division",
  Each day became a life and death challenge,
In John making the right decision.
  He fought to maintain our freedom,
And if called upon, would do the same today,
  This Marine I call my friend,
His name...Sgt. John Des Jarlais.
  Now, over half a century later,
He still serves country and Corps,
  There is no other Marine I know of,
Who ever accomplished much more.
  One thing I know for certain,
When he answers his final muster,
  And enters upon Heaven's scene,
He'll say, that all he wanted out of life,
  After wearing Marine Corps green,
Was to be said of him, "He was a good Marine!"


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Iwo Jima

On the Island of Iwo Jima in 1945
  Prophetic words were spoken,
Which would keep our Corps alive.
  As the flag was raised on Suribachi,
Navy Secretary Forrestal, exclaimed,
  To General, Holland Smith,
(While others stood in tears)
  "Holland, the raising of that flag,
  On Mount Suribachi,
  Means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."
As we approach the 21st Century,
  Let us pause, pray and give thanks,
To those Marines who fought and died,
  And to all Marines who now fill our ranks.
Pledge, never, ever forget, the sacrifice they made,
  While as a nation, we all stood together,
As we sought freedom and prayed.
  Now, all too often in peaceful years,
There are those who would have you believe,
  That the Corps is no longer needed,
There is now peace, at long last a reprieve.
  But, history tells a different story,
If only we will learn, that peace is hard to come by,
  Yet, is something we all yearn!
The Corps has proven its mettle,
  Since our inception, in 1775.
We have fought since the Revolution,
  Just to keep this nation alive!
Truer words were never spoken,
  Than on that February day,
When Marines raised the Stars & Stripes,
  On Mount Suribachi.....
That U.S. Marines are here to stay!
  There will be some Marine, in the year 2445,
That will recall the battle on Iwo Jima,
  That helped keep our Corps alive.
So, to that Marine, and friends...
  ... John, Max, Gerald and more,
Semper Fidelis to you, and to our beloved Corps!


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Once a Marine

When the first Marine was recruited, 10 November 1775,
  Another eight months would pass,
Before our 4th of July Independence Day would arrive.
  So, you see we have a history,
That sets our Corps apart.
  We have borne our nation's battles,
And have done so from the start.
  Marines have no secret weapons, but if you were to ask,
"What sets you apart from others,
  In fulfilling the Marine Corps task"?
While the answers all may vary, to one they all respond,
  It is called, esprit de corps, our ethos is our bond.
Traditions are long time honored,
  And something we do not take light,
One of our traditions, being the "First to Fight."
  We did so for our Independence,
And, if called upon once more,
  Will protect and defend our nation,
As all U.S. Marines have done before.
  Now, there will be other missions,
In which we will be called to quell,
  Rest assured, we are ready, any enemy to repel.
We are our nation's ... 911 Force...
  And stand guard as never before,
For we wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor
  ... We are U.S. Marines forever more....


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Country, Corps & Trust

When I die and die I must,
  I will think of Country, Corps & Trust.
For these three words go hand in hand,
  As we dwell in freedom in this land.
This Country was born in a Revolution,
  Our Marine Corps helps keep us free
As Marines we Trust in each other,
  So that all the world may see.
And to all who have worn Marine Corps green,
  Since the founding of our beloved Corps,
Surely, understand these words we live by,
  And will forever more!


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Marine Corps Legacy

The legacy I leave is important to me,
  And in time, my children will come to see,
What it has taken to keep this Nation free.
  King George of England sent his troops in boats,
A formidable group, in their bright Red Coats.
  To stifle freedom in a new land,
Until brave men rose up and took a stand.
  For, if free men were to survive,
In this year of our Lord...1775.
  We must band together as never before,
To fight and struggle to win a Revolutionary War.
  Men came together from throughout the land,
And fought the British Red Coats, hand to hand.
  Men from the hills and from the shore,
They were called Marines and formed a Corps.
  The Continental Congress, soon would see,
This wise decision would be a decree.
  That hereafter, Marines would fight on land and sea.
And since our birth on that tenth day of November,
  One thing remains clear, so let us remember,
Freedom is a precious thing and cannot be bought,
  But through sacrifice, devotion and battles fought.
For well over 200 years, our Republic remains free,
  Thanks to those Marines who preceded you and me.
Our Continental congress was wise indeed.
  To form Marines, both the Old and New Breed.
So, on the 10th day of November, we give thanks evermore,
  To all those Marines who served our Corps!


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Prepare to March

I'm an 0311.  Ground pounding grunt
  We are always prepared to march.
As Marines from Easy Two Seven.
  Our mission was to search and destroy.
The history that precedes us.
  Claims "We are the first to fight."
Each challenge that confronts us.
  Only confirms we are always right.
We have marched to the sound of the guns,
  As Marines have done before,
We have confronted our bitter enemies.
  And have brought honor to our corps.
Now each time we hold a reunion,
  Our numbers may have declined,
But the stories never seem to age.
  As we strive to turn another page.
A page that claims we did our part,
  To keep this republic free,
As we helped fight our nation's battles.
  To maintain our liberty.
Our high and tights may have some grey,
  Our step may be a bit slower,
And we may not be quite as lean,
  But one thing you can still count on,
We have all earned our title, United States Marine!


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A Time to Remember

I walked and talked with heroes,
  On this Memorial Day.
We stood among the granite headstones,
  And each had this to say.
Each of these white markers,
  Has a story or two to share,
Not only with their families,
  but with all gathered here that care.
They gave their lives that we may live,
  In security and liberty and moreover,
To let us know that our freedom is never free.
  there is the ultimate price,
Those of us resting here have paid,
  And all we ask in return,
Is that you take the time one day each year,
  To pause, give thanks and pray,
And to just remember each of us,
  On our nation's ... Memorial Day!


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Marine Corps Birthday 1775-1997

I looked out my window,
  And against a bright blue sky,
Saw the flag of our nation,
  Softly waving on high.
We take for granted so many things,
  Like friends, homes, families,
Even little children on swings.
  Do we once ever stop,
To just pray and give thanks,
  For those countless Marines,
Who once filled our ranks?
  If not for them, where would we be,
This home of the brave,
  This land of the free!
And now, 222 years later,
  On this Birthday of our Corps,
Our Colors shine even brighter,
  For there is peace and not war.
We're still prepared if need be,
  To defend our Nation's goals,
Whatever will be our mission,
  We'll master the rocks & shoals.
For all those who have worn,
  The Marine Corps Green,
Our proud motto says it best,
  Semper Fidelis...these two words,
Have surmounted every test.
  From our early Revolution in 1775,
Marines have fought in every war,
  Just to keep our Republic alive.
So wherever you are, let the word go out,
  Be your on ship or shore,
To all Marines ... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
  And may God bless our beloved Corps!


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He Was a Good Marine

He was a fighter, this friend of mine,
  Now rests with friends from another time,
At Vella La Vella, then Bougainville,
  Again, at Iwo during World War II.
He served in Korea, the "Forgotten War",
  Then trained other Marines for going ashore.
He truly was a "Mustang", one of a select few,
  Who bore the title of Marine,
Was an example to all he knew.
  This author of "Mustang, a Combat Marine"<
Should be read by all who serve,
  For it tells a compelling story,
Of heart and guts and nerve.
  My friend, the Colonel is resting now,
Taps came much too soon for him,
  He is probably telling stories,
And listening to the Marine Corps Hymn.
  All he wanted out of life,
After wearing Marine Corps green,
  Was to be said of him,
"He was a good Marine!"
     ... Rest in peace, Colonel Gerry Averill ...


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Marine Graduate

Eagle, Globe and Anchor,
  Three words could say no more.
These are the words that bind us,
  As proud members of our Corps.
Two other words, we also share,
  They are known throughout the world.
They have been our motto,
  Since our Colors were unfurled.
Semper Fidelis ... two words say it all,
  As a greeting, or in our Hymn.
Marines respond together,
  And together, all stand tall.
To all who have worn the Marine Corps green,
  Since the founding of our Corps.
Be it either in peacetime,
  Or be it in time of war.
One thing you will always remember,
  the place, the platoon, the date.
The day you were addressed ... Marine,
  A U.S. Marine Corps graduate.
You are now part of a heritage,
  A part of a select few.
And those who have gone before you,
  Will take pride in what you do.
You now wear the Eagle, Globe and Anchor,
  You have earned the Marine Corps green.
And as it says within our Hymn,
  "You are the finest ever seen."
So, to you Marine, wherever you are,
  You are now one of us.
And with these two words,
  Let me close, and just say to you,
.... Semper Fidelis ....!


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Valentine Day

A Marine was laid to rest today (5/9/96),
  Major Herbert Valentine was his name.
Both in WWII and again in Korea,
  His exploits won him fame.
On 25 May of '45, the skies were blue and fair,
  Then Capt. Herb, led his Division,
Made up of four Corsair,
  30 enemy Zeros approaching from the north,
And soon these bitter enemies,
  Were engaged in "dog fights", back and forth.
In the space of 20 minutes, but what seemed eternity,
  Herb splashed six Zeros off Okinawa,
Into the churning Japanese Sea.
  Remember, that in a 20 minute space,
Capt. Herb, Commander of VMF-542,
  Would become a Fighter Pilot Ace!
For this heroic action, and the enemy's heavy loss,
  Captain Herbert James Valentine,
Would be awarded the ... Navy Cross.
  His battles are now over,
He did his part and more,
  And for all eternity, brought honor to our Corps.
Now, at last he is at peace, with comrades he once knew,
  As they talk of the many battles,
And of the Corsairs which they flew.
  Herb was a true American hero,
His Country could ask no more,
  He served with such distinction,
As a member of our Corps!


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On Guard

Rest peacefully America,
  The U.S.M.C. has your back.
We are ready at a moment's notice,
  To vanquish any hostile attack.
This has always been our motto,
  "We are the 1st to fight",
And we'll be on guard,
  To protect our sovereign nation,
From all enemies who dare attack us.
  Since the founding of our republic,
In the year Seventeen-Seventy Five,
  Marines have been in the forefront,
To see that America will survive.
  We train in peace to prepare for war,
As we must remain forever alert,
  And to destroy those who would,
Terrorize us and take our freedom & liberty.
  So, once again America,
We are on guard for each of you,
  We are our nation's 911 force,
We are Marines! The Proud! The Few!


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Final Deployment

I am proud to claim the title,
  Of a United States Marine.
And upon my final deployment,
  Plan to look on Heaven's scene.
Then when I finally close my eyes,
  What do I plan to see?
But the Eagle, Globe and Anchor,
  The scarlet and gold....USMC!


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Into Battle

Do you know someone,
  Who would die for you,
And likewise you for him?
  Believe me when I tell you I do,
He is a U.S. Marine,
  One of the Proud! The Few!
We are a band of brothers,
  And like those who served before,
March to the sound of gun fire,
  To serve our country and corps.
When we go into battle,
  And counter the enemies attacks,
One thing we can count on is,
  We have each others backs.
We must never forget our heritage,
  As we honor those Marines,
Who once served before,
  For each and every U.S. Marine,
Has brought honor to our corps.
  In closing let me use two words,
All Marines learn from the start.
  - Semper Fidelis - to each of you,
As this message comes from my heart!


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Warrior Ethos

Whoever said, "You can't take it with you,
  Never met a U.S. Marine!
Now listen up, here's what's in store,
  I will tell you about my Marine Corps.
The warrior's ethos comes from within,
  And the mission of our corps,
Is to fight wars and win.
  Since the founding of our beloved corps,
We have always been "The First to Fight".
  From Seventeen-Seventy-Five to the present,
This has been our corps birthright.
  One thing Marines will take with them,
When we depart this earth,
  We can truly state forevermore,
That we have served God & country,
  And have brought honor to our corps!


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Warriors Reunion

I walked and talked with heroes,
  On this reunion day in May.
We are Marines from E-2-7,
  And we had a lot to say.
We spoke of long ago battles,
  And of buddies we had lost.
It was difficult for all of us,
  To total up the cost.
As warriors we all remember,
  The hostile mountainous terrain,
The freezing cold of winter,
  And then the monsoon rain.
Now we gather to honor those
  Who never did come home,
From the "Land of the Morning Calm",
  As we toast those Marines,
And their memories we all treasure,
  As a healing, soothing balm.
So here's a toast to all who served,
  In the magnificent Seventh Marines.
"We raise our glass to honor you
  And in our hearts serene
Are proud to share with you the title of,
  United States Marine!"
                 Oorah!


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Korea Reunited

If only these Korean hills could talk,
  The stories they could tell,
Of brave men who fought in the heat and monsoon rain,
  Then the bitter Korean winter,
Would bring the cold and pain.
  There was always one more hill to climb,
As the enemy put us to the test,
  Yet we surmounted each and every battle,
Before we dug in for the night to rest.
  For chow we had our C-rats, not really a gourmet treat,
But the beans and franks were tasty when we added a little heat.
  The morning came all too soon and then we'd saddle-up,
Not knowing what would be in store,
  Then someone shouted out, "Aren't you glad you're in The Corps!"
For years South Korea has sought reunification,
  With their families and neighbors to the North,
Yet sixty-three years later, there are no signs of peace coming forth.
  Hopefully, in the coming New Year, leaders from both North and South,
Will seek out and find a soothing balm,
  And peace will blossom forth once more,
In the "Land of the Morning Calm."


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Hallowed Ground

As we gather here on hallowed ground,
  I look up to see the only Marines,
Who would ever "Let me down".
  All decked out in their sharp dress blues,
Their faces reflected in their spit shined shoes.
  My life has witnessed a hectic pace,
And now I'm at my final resting place.
  The flag has now been folded and handed to my wife,
"On behalf of a grateful nation",
  We have come here to recognize your life.
For service to your country,
  And to your beloved Corps,
We gather here to say thank you,
  But wait, there is more in store.
The silence is now deafening you see,
  Then seven Marines fire a volley of three,
As there is no better way to remember me,
  And now a stillness fills the air,
Surrounded by friends and loved ones who care.
  All is now quiet, no one has stirred,
As the faint sound of Echo Taps is heard.
  Everything is now peaceful and serene,
As the Lord welcomes home--a U.S. Marine.


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The Title


Back row L to R - ?, ?, Bolton, Leach, Kuhn, Kenifick, Kellogg, Bowman, F. Pontius.
Front Row L to R - L. Chino, B. Clark, Burket, Westa, Plt. Ldr - Kelty, Kilgore. Photo taken May 1951, Hongchon, Korea - Men from 1st Squad, 1st Platoon, Easy Company.
(Click picture for a larger view)

Are you ready for a lesson on our Nation's history?
  It starts with a group of warriors,
Who took an oath to keep us free.
  Congress banded them together in 1775,
And to this day are a Band of Brothers.
  They are called United States Marines,
An elite force not like any others.
  For twelve weeks they train on coasts both East and West,
To hone fighting skills and surmount each and every test.
  Soon now these raw recruits will earn the Title Marine,
And prove to themselves and others, are the finest ever seen.
  So, from our early Revolution in seventeen-seventy-five,
Marines will have borne the battle to keep our freedom alive.
  When their time in the Corps is over,
And they gather with family and others,
  One thing all will have in common--they will be a Band of Brothers.
You see, there are no former or so-called ex-Marines,
  Only those who still serve their country,
As currently....off duty U.S. Marines!


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I Solemnly Swear...

I raised my hand and swore an oath,
  To protect this precious land.
Millions more before me also took this stand.
  Together, we have prevailed and today our freedom,
Still reigns because we cherish liberty,
  And will never submit to chains.
Since our founding revolution in 1775,
  United States Marines have fought,
Our republic's countless battles,
  In the air, on land and sea,
Unswerving in their efforts,
  To maintain our freedom and liberty.
I have been privileged to serve my country,
  In a corps of U.S. Marines.
Be it in peacetime or fighting on a far away land,
  We are molded together by a fabric,
Very few will ever understand.
  Now as we grow older and our ranks becoming thin,
We still recall the oath we swore,
  To preserve and protect this land.
We now stand a little taller,
  As we hear refrains from John Phillip Sousa's band.
We are once again in step now,
  As we muster to pass in review,
And of course we are proud of the fact,
  We are United States Marines,
... The Proud! ... The Few! ...


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