Marine Corps Birthday Ball debuts new living ceremony

JACKSONVILLE, NC (WITN) - The Marine Corps turns 244 on November 10th, and every year Camp Lejeune holds a birthday ball, but this year is a little bit different with a new special ceremony that brings historic moments in Marine Corps history to life.

The Marine Corps Birthday Ball is normally a private event, only for those who are invited and or course service members, but this year, WITN was welcome to watch a new ceremony take place.

The new living memorial captured what it's like to become a Marine as well as historical moments from WWI, WWII, Vietnam and many more.

Marine Donte Wilkins said, "It means a lot because we learn about this in the process of bootcamp, about all these wars, and you realize, it really wasn't that long ago." The ceremony also spotlights just how important America's military is, another Marine said, "It's a tremendous concept of brotherhood, the willingness to die for another person."

As the Marine Corps prepares to turn 244, the tradition to celebrate started in 1775 to highlight the brotherhood and remember our fallen comrades.

Marine Alexis Galarce, "This feels like a way for us to actually give to the older generation of Marine's, since we have people here from Vietnam."

One Marine we talked to at the ball, John Ligato, was in the battle of Hue City during the Vietnam war, one of the deadliest battles in Marine Corps history. "Only 7 marines that entered the city of Hue left un-blooded. And tonight, I have some Hue city veterans that were with me 51 years ago, that are here at the ball", said Ligato.

Several Marines we talked to mentioned the closer brotherhood and are glad to have this tradition and hope it continues.