I was delighted to get to share this experience with some incredibly dear friends (both Marines and non-Marine, some of the non-Marines Military and some non-military) who had been to the ball before. We'd had great times in the times we'd been in the past and knew we would have a great time together again!
We were also delighted to get to bring some friends to the ball who were either new to this particular ball (which let's face it is the Granddaddy of them all!) or new to a Marine Corps Ball in general. Again some of these folks were Marines, some were other Military and some were just great supporters of the military. While I was excited for the ball in general I was even more excited to see how these folks reacted to this amazing event.
For those of you who know me know I am in general a jeans and gym shoes girl but there is just something fun about getting all dressed up for such a fabulous event!
The Marine Corps Birthday Ball is an amazing and emotional event that is very hard to describe - it's one that must be experienced. Being in the midst of so many great individuals who have so valiantly and selflessly served our country is bound to make you at least a bit emotional. (To be honest if it doesn't I might have to wonder about you!) Every year the Commandant creates a video for the event (it happens to be the same video shown at all events) and so far every year it has made us (yep Ken too) at a minimum tear up and last year flat out have tears rolling down our cheeks. Here is this year's video http://www.dvidshub.net/video/158810/honor-country-2012-marine-corps-birthday-message#.ULDUNTkWEfM
All of it is amazing but one of the particularly special things is the cake cutting. The Commandant and the Guest of Honor (this year it was an very inspirational young man from the Wounded Warriors) get the first 2 pieces (cut by a mamaluke by the Commandant). Then the next piece goes to the oldest Marine in attendance and it is then passed to the youngest Marine in attendance to represent the passing of knowledge. VERY cool! In fact at the USNA Marine Corps Ball it was even more special because the oldest Marine in attendance was a woman who was 99!!! Wow!
If you get a chance check out the Wounded Warriors page http://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/
If you ever get the chance to attend any Marine Corps Birthday Ball I HIGHLY recommend you go! It's an experience that I wish every American could partake in because I think many Americans would have a much more patriotic view if they did....