On Nov. 10, the U.S. Marine Corps 237th Division held its annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball at the Yakima Convention Center.
The youngest Marine, Dylan J. Langel, 19, and the oldest Marine, Robert Ventura, 89, were recognized for their service with Company B, 4th Tank Battalion.
The Continental Congress created the Marine Corps on Nov. 10, 1775. Since then, the Marine Corps has celebrated its birthday by throwing a formal ball every year — a tradition that continues at locations around the globe, including Yakima.
Before 1921, the Marine birthday celebrations were held on various dates, but since that year Nov. 10 has become the official celebration date.
Following ceremonial tradition, the oldest Marine present receives the first slice of cake and hands it down to the youngest Marine present, representing the passing of knowledge to the new generation of Marines.
There is also a traditional reading of the Marine Corps Order No. 47, which is republished annually.
Each year a new birthday message is written and read aloud as well. The commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. James F. Amos, wrote the U.S. Marine Corps Birthday Message for 2012.
Amos ended the message by saying, “I salute the enduring faithfulness of those who have gone before, of those who wear our cloth today, and of families who stand so resolutely at our sides. Happy birthday Marines ... and Semper Fidelis.”
• Audrey Navarro is a senior at Toppenish High School and a member of Yakima Herald-Republic’s Unleashed journalism program for high school students.