ENNIS

Nov. 10 marks the 243rd birthday for the U.S. Marine Corps and a ceremonial ball is planned.

The Ellis County Marine Corps League Detachment 1452 will host the second annual Birthday Ball to divulge in history and celebrate the men and women who served.

The annual Marine Corps Birthday Ball is a celebration of Marine Corps history and traditions. It represents where the Marine Corps started and where it is now, while giving those who attend a glimpse of the past, present and future.

The evening will kick off with cocktail hour until 7 p.m. while attendees arrive. The traditional cake cutting ceremony will happen between 7—7:30 p.m. with an awards presentation for members at 7:30—8 p.m. Dinner will be served from 8—9p.m. and the night will conclude with a raffle drawing at 8:45 p.m. and dancing until 11:30 p.m.

“This is the same sequence of events that active and reserve Marine Corps units conduct yearly —with the addition of the awards presentation— and it is truly an honor to be able to experience this level of Marine Corps ceremonial tradition,” read an Ellis County Marine Corps League Detachment 1452 press release.

Dane Williams, the chaplain of the detachment and a life member, expressed the outpouring of positive feedback from the Birthday Ball last year as both active and former Marines are honored.

"Many people are coming from long distances this year to experience this once in a lifetime event and we are excited to bring this experience to our County community,” Williams said.

Joshua Lascano, the detachment’s junior-vice commandant, added that “the Marine Corps is a band of brothers and this detachment’s primary focus is bringing Marine veterans, along with active duty and reservists, and their families, together for the benefit of the Marines in our community.”

"This Marine Corps Ball is highly sought after and those in attendance will easily notice our love of country and corps," Lascano elaborated. "Marines live by our motto of 'Semper Fidelis' and stand by the slogan, ‘Once a Marine, Always a Marine.’”

Everyone is encouraged to attend the event at the Champions Club Event Center located at the Texas Motorplex on Saturday from 6—11:30 p.m.

Space is limited to 192 seats and as of Oct. 1, 92 tickets remained. The event is $50 per person and can be purchased at www.eventbrite.com and search for "Marine Corps Birthday Ball Celebration, Ellis County, Texas.

THE BIRTH OF THE MARINE CORPS

The Marine Corps was created in 1775 during the Revolutionary War when the Continental Congress passed a resolution that ordered “two battalions of Marines be raised” for service as landing forces for the recently formed Continental Navy. The Corps was born at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Nov. 10, 1775, by Captain Samuel Nicholas — the first Commandant of the Marine Corps.

Throughout the world on Nov. 10, Marines celebrate the birth of the corps — "the most loyal, feared, revered, and professional fighting force the world has ever known," the open invitation states.

The first "formal" birthday ball took place in Philadelphia in 1925. Guests included the Commandant, the Secretary of War (known today as the Secretary of Defense), and a host of statesmen and elected officials. Prior to the ball, General John A. Lejeune — 13th Commandant of the Marine Corps — unveiled a memorial plaque at Tun Tavern. The entourage then headed for the Benjamin Franklin Hotel for an evening of celebration.

EVENT DETAILS

The birthday ball is one of the biggest events on the calendar for the Marine Corps and Marine Corps League. It is a chance to get dressed to the nines, enjoy an evening of tradition, and celebrate the history of the corps. As the ball is a formal affair, both Marines and guests are expected to behave appropriately and follow rules of proper etiquette.

Guests are required to dress semi-formal for the occasion, meaning suit and tie for the men and a cocktail type dress for the ladies.

It is also asked to be respectful. One of the highlights of the evening is the ceremony, which involves a cake cutting ceremony, the reading of General John A. Lejeune’s birthday message, a birthday message from the current Commandant and speeches.

The League asked that all guests be seated before the ceremony begins and to refrain from texting or talking during the ceremony. Of note, photography is allowed during the ceremony. While the Birthday Ball is intended to be a fun occasion, it is still a professional event for Marines. The League encourages guests to limit the number of drinks had and be sure to space them out throughout the evening. If a guests decides to drink, create a plan in advance to ensure you are able to get home safely.

The League also asks guests to be polite. Always remember to say "please" and "thank you," and address others respectfully. Also, remember to have fun. The Marine Corps has a proud and illustrious history. While it is important to be on your best behavior at the Ball, don’t forget the purpose of the evening; to celebrate the Corps and all of its accomplishments.

The Ellis County Detachment 1452, Marine Corps League, is a nonprofit corporation with a 501 (c)(4) designation within the Internal Revenue Code of the Internal Revenue Service. The Detachment is tax-exempt within the Marine Corps League’s Group Exemption (code 0955) with the Internal Revenue Service. All donations to the Detachment are typically tax-deductible for the donor.

For more information about this topic visit the Detachment’s website at https://mclelliscountydet1452.wildapricot.org, or call Glen Parker at 214-803-4954 or email glen.parker1948@gmail.com.