Flags of Our Fathers starts today in theaters. It's being called Saving Private Ryan for the Marine Corps. I think it would have been neat if it would have been released on 10 November, the Marine Corps' 231st birthday. Then again most Marines will be out celebrating with other Marines that day.
All around the world, Marines celebrate their birthday on 10 November. The Marines Ian is with in Afghanistan will be getting together for a little party. A friend of ours, Scott, is at another base in Afghanistan, and he is going to come down to where Ian's base to celebrate. When the cake is cut, the first piece is given to the guest of honor and the second is given to the oldest Marine present and his/her birthday and enlisted date at stated. That Marine then passes the third piece of cake to the youngest Marine present and his/her birthday and enlisted date is stated. This ceremony is performed no matter where the Marines are. At the ball 2 years ago, I spoke with one of Ian's now retired Master Gunnery Sergeants who shared a story about celebrating in a tent with the pound cake from an MRE used for the cake ceremony.
The Birthday Ball always has lots of pageantry which is a spine-tingling sight in addition to a room full of Marines in the dress blues complete with ribbons and medals. This is the first year since we've lived here that we won't be going to the ball, but Ian will be celebrating over there. What will I be doing? Most likely playing with Jack and sprucing up the house for Ian's arrival shortly thereafter! Not a bad compromise I'd say!