Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference, the Marines don't have that problem. -- Ronald Reagan, 1985
When we were overseas we had the privilege of being invited to the annual Marine Corps Ball to celebrate the birthday. Such an honor and such fun. One year in Chile, the Embassy personnel posted guard duty at the Embassy and the Consulate so the Marines could all go to the Ball. Gene and I watched the Consulate building on the midnight shift. Gene pulled duty several times, but that was the only time I got to go with him. Later they would have the Balls on different days in Peru and Bolivia and the Marines would come and go to cover duty so the local Marines could all attend the Ball. The Ball was always the most elegant evening of Embassy parties. The Marines would attend in their dress blues. There would be the presentation of the Colors and the birthday ceremony. The ceremony always included the oldest Marine and the youngest Marine to cut the cake with the white gloves on with their saber and have the first pieces. They would have wine/champagne glasses with the year and Marine Corps insignia and date. We have a few of those that have made it through several moves.
It was wonderful to be invited and share a birthday with these special men.
I wonder where my photos of the Embassy Marines are. Hmmmm.