NOVEMBER 13, 1947
NEW YORK, Wednesday—The other day, the 172nd anniversary of the founding of the United States Marine Corps was celebrated. On Nov. 10, 1775, the Continental Congress authorized the creation of the Marines, and ever since then, they have been a part of our Navy.
The first striking force to land in many parts of the world, they have covered themselves with glory. A Marine who doesn't have many area ribbons, denoting service in various parts of the world, or who doesn't have a collection of campaign stars and decorations, just can't have been in the Marine Corps very long.
One of my boys was a member of Carlson's Raiders in World War II, but even before that very personal tie came to heighten my interest in the Marines, my husband's pride in their achievements in the first war had familiarized me with their work. They fought in France side by side with the Army, and won deathless fame at Belleau Wood.
Guadalcanal, our first landing place in the Pacific in World War II, will never be forgotten by the Marines, for they hung on grimly in the days when there was every reason to wonder whether the Japanese would drive them out before the United States could achieve enough strength to back them up. Their motto, "Semper Fidelis"—"Always Faithful"—is one that every member of the corps must live up to, thereby making an enviable name indeed for this group in our fighting forces.
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Under the National Security Act of 1947, the Marine Corps has been given the responsibility of maintaining trained landing forces, ready for immediate service with the Navy, and of developing more efficient ways of conducting landing operations. There will be smaller but harder-hitting units, with all the flexibility which rapid movement requires.
There are now Citizen Marines, studying at home and in their local armories, who will be trained in the Marine tradition for service "in the air, on land, and on the sea." There are 54,000 of these Citizen Marines now in training.
It is interesting that the Marine Corps anniversary comes one day before Armistice Day. So many Marines have fallen in the service of their country that many people, as they decorate the service graves on Armistice Day, think of their Marine Corps soldiers lying in cemeteries all over the world.
The prayer which all of us had in our hearts this Armistice Day was that we might be given wisdom to use our military and economic strength with restraint and generosity during these next few years, and not be tempted to use it for increased power. May God help us to work for greater confidence throughout the world, so that men may dare to disarm and to hope for a world in which the brotherhood of men may be stronger than their fear of one another.