Happy 246th Birthday US Marines

Todd Haskell, Chargé d’Affairs of the United States of America to South Africa and Jennifer Haskell with members of the Marine Corps

12 November 2021

Celebrating the birthday of the US Marine Corps, Chargé d'Affaires of the United States of America to South Africa, Todd Haskell, hosted an event at Hill House in Pretoria on 10 November. The celebration included the age-old traditions except the annual ball which didn’t take place due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Haskell, on congratulating the members of the Marine Corps said that he was honoured to celebrate the history of the Corps and witness the bond that unites all generations of Marines. On a personal note Haskell remembered his father, Walter J Haskell, a Marine who shipped out to war in 1943 and returned wounded, like so many others. He received a Purple Heart and many years later, while Haskell was posted in Tel Aviv, his father was invited to the celebration and was honoured as the oldest Marine there.

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In this year’s message, Commandant of the Marine Corps General David H. Berger and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Troy Black paid tribute to the men and women who joined following the September 11, 2001 attacks, as well as the next generation of Marines. An excerpt of the message is below:

“As we mark the 20th anniversary of those who fought the war on terror and are now retiring, we want them to know that we appreciate their courage, sacrifice, and the valor they showed during this conflict.

“The next generation of Marines may operate differently and in different places than the Marines who wear the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor today. Yet they will join a long and proud heritage of Marine fighters who have never turned from a threat or an enemy. We will always remain most ready when our Nation is least ready because we must protect our shores and our citizens. And as the next evolution of warfighting becomes our reality, it will still be the Marines who defend this Nation.”