In Senator Warner's speech, he was telling a story about when he was a Lt. in the Corps. The Commandant got word that Warner was an engineer and was familiar with heavy machinery and convoy's. Warner was floored because the Commandant personally asked him to move the pieces of the newly made Iwo Jima memorial from the storage rooms of Henderson Hall to Quantico. Then put it together at Quantico and convoy it over to where it stands today. The Commandant continued to yell at Warner that if there were any cracks, bumps, or broken pieces that Warner would hear directly from him. Now, years later as Senator, Warner was explaining proudly how he was able to recently sign off on a significant piece of legislation that will renew the memorial and refurbish and fix all the cracks that he made years before!
Later, they laid a wreath in honor of the 231st birthday of the Marine Corps and in honor of the fallen Marines who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. You can read part of the Commandant's speech in the post I wrote this morning.
The opening of the ceremony
The presentation of the colors
Senator Warner's speech
The wreath laying ceremony
Yes, I was wearing my Marine Wife t-shirt
I have to say, it was a little emotional for me. Not only was I directly faced with that pink elephant- the possiblity of the worst case scenario, with prayers and speeches and tears during the ceremony, but it brought back a lot of memories for me...
The Old Man was in the Honor Guard, stationed at the Marine Barracks 8th and I just last year. It would have been him doing this wreath laying ceremony if he was stateside. I was remembering how every time I went to see one of his ceremony's or parades either through the streets of DC for a holiday, at Iwo, or at the Barracks on Friday nights, the crowds and support from everyone cheering them on was incredible. Even though they were exactly the same everytime- with a few different guests of honor, I just loved to be able to watch the Old Man for a few hours. I couldn't help but have the biggest silly grin on my face as I bragged to anyone around me who would listen that my Marine was a part of it all.
I remember back in those days our biggest worries were being sure we were able to pick up his dress blues from the dry cleaner on time for his ceremonies or that he would get off early enough after his Friday night parades so we wouldn't be too late for whatever we had planned. This exact day last year, we were drinking margarita's at the apartment right about now and getting ready for the Marine Corps Ball later that night... It's amazing how things have changed so much since then. That seems so long ago.
The most special memory I have was that I was so proud and I remember thinking how some of those days were some of my proudest moments. Now, the Old Man is serving our country in Iraq and sacrificing everything he can to make sure we can all sleep well at home.
Just when I thought I couldn't be any more proud...