By Cpl. Timothy Childers
15th Marine Expeditionary Unit
USS RUSHMORE – Normally during the most important of Marine Corps celebrations, Marines would be looking sharp in their dress blue uniforms and seated at tables in a ballroom.
Things were done differently during this festivity.
Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit swayed in formation as the ship pitched and yawned over a deep sea during the early celebration of the 237th Marine Corps Birthday on Nov. 7. Because the MEU was scheduled to conduct a training operation on Nov. 10, the official date of the Marine Corps birthday, the event was held several days early.
All Marines were in attendance for the ceremony on the flight deck as the official message from the 35th commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos, was read.
“The Commandant, in his message, reminds us that only a few Americans choose the dangerous, but necessary, work of fighting our nation’s enemies,” said Lt. Col. John J. Wiener, commanding officer, Combat Logistics Battalion 15, 15th MEU.
“The Marine Corps is what it is because of who you and I are, and we are who we are, in no small part, because of the training and experience the Marine Corps afforded us. So, as we celebrate our history, let’s reflect on what bonds us together,” added Wiener, speaking to troops during the celebration.
The cake-cutting ceremony was the main event in the time-honored ceremony. While most people use a spatula or knife to cut the first slice of cake, Marines use a sword to complete this rite.
The first slice of cake was given to the guest of honor, Cmdr. Brian Finman, commanding officer, USS Rushmore. The second slice was handed to the oldest Marine attending, Master Sgt. Jason C. Topp, operations chief, CLB-15, 15th MEU. After taking a bite, he handed to the youngest Marine present, Lance Cpl. Marcos A. Solis, a motor transportation operator from the same unit.
“This is the first time I’ve had the honor to be the oldest Marine at the ceremony,” said Topp.
“It’s humbling after being in the Marine Corps for more than 23 years to be that Marine. It’s something everyone thinks about but never believes will happen. I was able to pass on some words of wisdom to the youngest Marine present,” added the 41-year-old, Marblehead, Mass., native.
The passing of the slice of cake from the oldest Marine to the youngest Marine present symbolizes the passing of history and traditions to the next generation.
“It was great for my first time celebrating the Marine Corps birthday,” said Solis. “It was an exciting experience. It’s an important tradition because it gives us time to reflect and honor what we did in the past,” said the 19-year-old Mineral Wells native.
After the ceremony, the Marines were dismissed to the mess-decks for evening chow. It’s customary for Marines around the world to be served a much deserved steak-and-lobster dinner as they reflect on the Corps’ illustrious past and promising future.
Lance Cpl. Solis part of traditional passing of celebration cake from oldest to youngest Marine
By Cpl. Timothy Childers
- Local News
Merchants Christmas Parade, Rhonda’s Food Roundup postponed due to icy conditions
Today and Saturday’s “Rhonda’s Round Up Food Drive” and Saturday’s annual “Mineral Wells Merchants Community Christmas Parade” have been postponed due to deteriorating weather conditions.
Remembering Pearl Harbor
December is such a wonderful time of year.
Weather forces area schools to close Friday
Ice, snow and sleet accumulations in a winter storm that began Thursday in the area and is expected to continue through Friday afternoon has forced area school districts to close Friday.
Kelley Family’s home a stop on Tour
As part of a continuing series, the Index is highlighting each property on Zonta’s 28th annual Christmas Tour of Homes, Dec. 8. Next up is the Kelley Family’s home on NE 7th Street.
Fires blot Mineral Wells on and around Thanksgiving
While the rest of the city was preparing, eating or digesting their turkey, Mineral Wells firefighters responded to three fires on and around Thanksgiving.
Local Bed and Breakfast featured on Tour of Homes
In anticipation of the Mineral Wells Zonta Club’s 28th annual Christmas Tour of Homes, the Index is featuring each of the six properties that will be on display during this year’s tour on Dec 8, from 2 to 5 p.m.
Holiday reminder: Safe practices can prevent car theft
The holiday shopping season has officially arrived and there is no better time to remind readers of the importance of safe practices to prevent car burglaries and thefts.
The story of the Nickerson family is one of achieving great success and giving back to the community and those who helped them so much along the way.
Break on through (not quite to the other side)
The Mineral Wells Police Department responded to a hit-and-run accident that did more than put a dent in a vehicle – it did some damage to the outer wall of a building.
Santo student competing in Miss Teen of Texas Pageant
MaKaylee Dawn Steiner, 14-year-old daughter of Dieter and Misty Steiner, of Mineral Wells, and granddaughter of Edwin and Debbie Fowler and Dieter K. & Stevie Jo Steiner, also of Mineral Wells, has been selected as a candidate in the 2013 Miss Teen of Texas Scholarship and Recognition Pageant.
- More Local News Headlines
- Merchants Christmas Parade, Rhonda’s Food Roundup postponed due to icy conditions