Celebrating the 247th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps on Veterans Day


by AnnGardner Eubank

Commandant Jim Schafer cuts the Marine Corps birthday cake. Per tradition, the eldest Marine in the room, Alvin Lynn, 88, (right) takes the first piece of cake and passes it to the youngest Marine, PFC Smith, 20. Guest of honor Major General Tim Hanifen stands at attention (left).

The essence of pride, loyalty and honor was undeniable as Marines, both active and retired, and their loved ones basked in a truly one-of-a kind camaraderie as they celebrated the 247th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Held on Veterans Day, Friday, November 11, the Marine Corps League Detachment 1062 hosted the Marine Corps Birthday Ball at Indian Creek Yacht and Country Club. Lucky for me, it was my turn in the Rappahannock Record’s weekend coverage duty rotation to report on area happenings.

A little past 5 p.m., I had finished applying my make-up and slipped into my ball gown I was so excited to wear. As I was wrapping up getting ready at a leisurely pace, I checked my e-mail to take another look at the itinerary for the night.

“Oh my gosh, 1700 means five o’clock doesn’t it?” I asked Billy Lackert, my boyfriend and date for the occasion.

Once we realized I had fallen victim to my own blonde-moment, we ran out of the door as fast as we could and sped our way along Bluff Point Road to join the festivities and make sure we didn’t miss anything.

We arrived at the tail end of the cocktail hour in plenty of time to get situated at our table before the formal program began.

Upon our introductions, I shamefully and apologetically told the other guests at our table I was never the best with numbers and that seeing military times on the itinerary got the best of me.

We were warmly welcomed by our table, to join a group of three veterans and their wives, who seemingly found my mistake endearing rather than disrespectful. They involved Billy and me in warm conversation as we got to know one another.

There was so much laughter and smiles in the room as Marines reconnected with one another and shared stories of their time in the service.

It was so immediately evident how special and strong of a bond this group of people had….

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