Once again, our nation pauses on The Eleventh Hour, The Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month to celebrate Veterans Day and to honor all veterans of all military services of our beloved country.
Once again, we experience through the various media the exploits and history of military organizations and personnel amid remembrances of past and current operations.
We stand tall with pride viewing the customary pageantry of color guards, patriotic music, young Scouts leading the Pledge of Allegiance, parades, veterans wearing military caps, medals and articles of uniforms. We are saddened as speakers remind us of veterans, some hardly beyond teenage and others of early WWII years, who are afflicted with broken or wounded bodies and sicknesses. We see, however, that they possess an undying spirit, determination and inspiration to others. We ensure that our youngsters share in our pride of our veterans. We Gilroyans are especially proud of Lawson Sakai who recently was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal as a veteran of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team during WWII.
There is another day this week of special military significance. That is the 236th anniversary of the founding of the U. S. Marine Corps on 10 November, 1775 at Tun Tavern Inn Philadelphia. For members of the Navy Seabees (Construction Battalions) and the officers of the U. S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps, it is customary and traditional to call attention to the Marine Corps birthday in recognition of the close association of the Marines and the Seabees during the WWII period in the Pacific Theater.
That close association has continued throughout the years to the present time. As a retired member of the Navy Engineer Corps, I am proud of my prior association with the Marines at Quantico, Camp Pendleton and Vietnam. I encourage everyone to especially “Thank a Marine” for their long and always heroic history in the service of our beloved United States of America. Remember also the sacrifices and hardships of their devoted families. The Marine Corps motto of “Semper Fidelis” is a constant source of inspiration and pride to all.
Paul V. Kloecker, Gilroy, U.S. Navy Engineer Corps (Ret)
Editor’s note: Semper Fidelis is Latin for ”Always Faithful” and is often shortened in a Marine context to Semper Fi.