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From the halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli
We fight our country's battles in the air on land and sea
First to fight for right and freedom and to keep our honor clean
We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine
Our flag's unfurled to every breeze from dawn to setting sun
We have fought in every clime and place where we could take a gun
In the snow of far off northern lands and in sunny tropic scenes
You will find us always on the job The United States Marines
Here's health to you and to our Corps which we are proud to serve
In many a strife we've fought for life and never lost our nerve
If the Army and the Navy ever look on heaven's scenes
They will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines
The Commandant of the Marine Corps'
2004 Birthday Message
Two hundred and twenty-nine years ago, the Second Continental Congress established a Corps of Marines to fight for a democratic people's independence. Since then countless Marines have raised their hand and sworn to defend our Nation's freedoms and preserve its liberties. This year's anniversary again finds Marines engaged throughout the globe for the same noble purposes. The bravery, heroism and selflessness of all Marines—wherever they are serving—have added significantly to our rich legacy and measured up to the high standards that have come to epitomize all who wear the eagle, globe and anchor.
The current battlefields of the global war on terror are linked to the storied campaigns of our past by an unbroken tradition of proud and loyal service. At New Providence, Chapultepec, Belleau Wood, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, the Chosin Reservoir, Con Thien, Kuwait and now in places like Fallujah, Marines have consistently demonstrated a dedication to duty, a commitment to warfighting excellence, and a devotion to each other that has instilled a fierce determination to overcome seemingly impossible challenges. Our warrior ethos is and will continue to be the Corps' hallmark.
The fortitude and sacrifices of Marines and their families have been vital in protecting our Nation from those who would do us harm. Whether preparing and sustaining our agile force or engaged in battle, the esprit de corps, tireless energy, calm courage and inspired leadership of Marines continue to make a monumental difference in this world. Your unselfish dedication and significant accomplishments—demonstrated repeatedly over this past year in numerous places such as the Anbar province of Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, Haiti and in the crucial job here at home supporting our deployed forces—are deeply respected and valued by your fellow Americans.
Marines, as we celebrate with friends and families the founding of our beloved Corps, you should take pride in our long history of distinguished service to this great Nation and its citizens. I ask you to remember especially the sacrifices of our fallen and wounded comrades. Finally, rededicate yourselves to taking care of one another and ensuring we remain the finest warfighting organization in the world.
Happy Birthday, Marines. Semper Fidelis, and Keep Attacking!
M. W. Hagee
General, U.S. Marine Corps