For two hundred thirty two years, Marines have been caring out orders from they're commander and chief. I was luckily able
to be with Marines this summer. I went to the twenty-fifth annual reunion of The Marines of Company M (Mike Company) of the third battallion,
seventh regiment, first marine division as they served honorably and heroically in the Republic of Vietnam from July nineteen sixty-five to October
nineteen seventy. I was able to attend this reunion to honor my Uncle, Lieutenant Colonel Jay Van Dyne. We traveled to Washington DC on a Wednesday
morning to stay at The Crown Plaza. After checking in, and taking a head count, twenty-four were in attendance for this event.
we wanted to go to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, we found the nearest metro. Imagine us trying to stick together. When we stepped off the
metro, we saw the Washington Monument and the Capital Building. As we entered the Smithsonian, we were in awe as we saw the Apollo eleven. We broke
the group up to make the most of what we could see. I went with my mother to look at all of the keepsakes in the museum. To our surprise, we saw
Abraham Lincoln's Hat that he was assassinated in. We also saw the Edison light bulb, the Bell telephone, the first Kodak camera, the first artificial
heart, the Hubble Telescope, and George Washington's Uniform. My favorite keepsakes that i saw were Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz's red ruby slippers,
Helen Keller's watch, Amelia Earhart's airplane, and the first Miss America's Crown. I was admiration as I looked at all of these historical objects.
After we saw these miraculous artifacts, we went to the gift shop. My mother and I found an energy bars that are eaten in outer space. Their taste
wasn't the best. They reminded me of what cardboard would taste like. Once we left the gift shop, our group got back together to watch the Adrenaline
Rush in the Smithsonian I-Max, then we got on the metro and went back to the Crown Plaza. We went to bed early, knowing we would have a long day
On the next day we went to many places. Our first stop was at the National zoo. We saw many animals that you would see at the
Pittsburgh Zoo, but many other animals were there also. The one thing that we wouldn't typically see at the Pittsburgh Zoo was a new born panda.
But, of all of the animals at the zoo, the Golden Lion Tamarin was my favorite. After the zoo. we decided to take the nearest metro, and walk to the
On our way to the White House we saw the first American Red Cross building, the treasury building, and the Washington
monument. After ten miles of walking we finally got to the white house. There were people walking outside when we got there, I was convinced that
it was the president. After a long day of walking we left to get ready for a show put on for us by the Marine Corps band, the president's band, and
the silent drill team. I was speechless with how precise every marine was in the silent drill team. No one made a wrong move and every gun stayed in
line during the whole time they were preforming. After the show, we went back to the hotel and got ready for the big day ahead for us.
The next day we went to a memorial service for the fallen marines, the National Museum of the Marine Corps and twenty-fifth reunion banquet. The
memorial service was held at the Marine Memorial Chapel on the Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia. As we entered the chapel to the sound of the
organ playing, I knew that tissues would be needed. Everyone was crying when they were talking about each of the Marines that did not make it through
the battle. They ring a bell for each marine that passed away from Mike Company. It was truly heart wrenching. After the tolling of the bells, they said
a prayer called "Eternal Father, Strong to save." We also said psalm ninety-one in their memory. Being there, with all the Marines, especially my uncle,
I saw the strength that marines really need to go through battle.
Once the ceremony ended, we went to the National Museum of the Marine
Corps and Heritage Center. I learned about the Vietnam, Korea, World War II, and the Global War on Terrorism going on today. Also I learned about what
it is like to be in Combat and what it takes to become a Marine. I never knew it would be such hard work! Finally I heard stories about tanks, aircraft,
landing crafts, weapons and uniforms, and how they changed from when my uncle was in war. When it was time to go, we all got inside a bus and went back
to the hotel. My family and all of the other marines and their guests with us at the banquet had a couple of hours to get ready. We knew that this was a
memory that would last for a long time.
At the Banquet, my family was the biggest in attendance of all that attended. My uncle was very
proud of that! During the dinner, they had some speakers come up, one was my Uncle. He talked about what happened in battle, and how proud he was to
be part of "mike" company. During the dinner a proclamation from the U.S. Congressman Lee Terry from Nebraska honored the Marines of company "M". The
main person that came to honor Company "M" was the general that assisted the commandant of the Marine Corps. At the end of the banquet, my family and
I got a group picture to remember this day.
Marines were and still fighting for our country today. There are over two hundred U.S. Embassies
that they are guarded by Marines around the world. The silent drill team that I talked earlier about also guard and act as a security force in Washington
if need be. The first step to become a marine is to be trained as a rifleman. No matter what Military Occupational Specialty (MOS), every marine goes to
the rifle range every year to train and qualify. After their training they can begin their new step to being a marine. The Corps, have always "Task Organized"
to the mission they are assigned, Even though Marines are the smallest of all other services, they train with a "Warrior's attitude" to fight and win.
So now, I end this story with the motto of the Marines, Semper Fidelis.