BRANSON, Mo. As they have done for over 90 years, whether on active duty or discharged, U.S. Marines, and their families and friends will pause on November 10th to celebrate the birthday of their beloved Corps. This year will be the 236th celebration since its inception by a resolution of the Continental Congress on November 10, 1775. Since then, “The Few, The Proud, The United States Marine Corps” has served America with honor and distinction in every conflict from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terrorism.
Marlyce Stockinger, Director of Advertising & Public Relations for Branson.Com, the event’s sponsor, said that the 236th U. S. Marine Corps Birthday will be held November 10 at the Branson Convention Center starting at 1700 (5:00 p.m.). The gala evening of tradition, celebration and fun includes the traditional Marine Corps Birthday Ceremony with cake cutting, dinner, dancing, and, if the past is any indication, a surprise or two.
The Key-Note Speaker for the event will be Captain Dale Dye, U.S. Marine Corps, Retired. Captain Dye is a highly decorated “Marine’s Marine,” receiving, among many others, the Bronze Star with “Combat V” for valor and three Purple Hearts. He survived 31 major combat operations while serving in Vietnam in 1965 and 1967 through 1970.
Since retiring from the U. S. Marine Corps he been a “technical adviser,” on more than 50 TV shows and movies such as as “Platoon,” “Natural Born Killer,” and the HBO’s miniseries “The Pacific.” He is also an accomplished author and a well known actor, most recently appearing in TNT’s 2011 series “Falling Skies” and Tom Hanks 2011 movie, “Larry Crowne.”
The celebration of the U.S. Marine Corps Birthday is steeped in tradition. In 1921, the 13th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General John A. Lejeune, issued Marine Corps Order No. 47 (Series 1921) in which was summarized the tradition, history and mission of the Corps. The order specifically directed that it be read at all commands “on the 10th of November, 1921, and hereafter on the 10th of November of every year.”
In 1925, the reading of General Lejeunes’s order was followed by a celebration and the first formal Marine Corps Birthday Ball in Philadelphia, PA. From then until 1951 the Marine Corps Ball and associated tradtions had evolved. In 1951 the 20th Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, Lemuel C. Shepherd Jr., formalized some of the traditions by adding the reading of the current Commandant’s message in addition to General Lejeune’s Marine Corps Order No. 47 and the cake cutting ceremony including the use of U. S. Marine Corps Officer’s Mameluke Sword.
The Marine Corps Birthday Ball is one of many special events honoring Veterans, active duty military personnel and their families that is held during “Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week.” It is one of the largest veteran’s events in the United States and is held each year from November 5 through November 11. For additional information or tickets please call the Branson Tourism Center at 1-800-569-3493 or click here to visit the events website.