posted on Dec, 8 2016 @ 03:01 PM
As a kid, I read everything about the space program I could get my hands on. John Glenn was as familiar a name for me as my own parents' were.
As I grew older and became a Marine, his name was pounded into our heads as an icon of the Corps, and his speech/response to Howard Metzenbaum is
something I've had memorized since I was barely 18 years old.
A truly sad passing, on many levels for me.
"I would direct your attention to the table at the rear where a place has been set for those Marines who have gone before us. The military way of life
is filled with much symbolism. The table provides a way to tell us that members of our profession, whom we call “brothers”, are unable to be with
us this evening. It is set for one, yet there are many represented by the single chair. The table is draped in black, symbolizing the color of
mourning; the ultimate sacrifice, a table set in honor of our fallen comrades. The single lighted candle reminds us of the flame of eternal life that
the memory of our fallen comrades will be with us always. The Purple Heart medal displayed to reflect the infliction of wounds and the ebb of life in
battle. The identification tags blank, yet they could bear the name of Marines of every creed and color, and from every state in the Union. The dinner
setting inverted, they dine with us in spirit only. Those who have died so that we may live, our former comrades who have earned the glory and have
given to us the respect and pride that we, as Marines, hold so dear. Marines and honored guests, let us honor our fellow Marines, who have gone
before. Mr./Madam Vice, a toast to all Marines who have died for our beloved Corps."
To our fallen comrade.
- Marine Corps Mess Night Toast to the Fallen