The United States Marine Corps will mark its 232nd birthday on Saturday, and Lawrence area Marine veterans aren't about to let anyone forget it.
Current and former Marines will celebrate a day early at 2 p.m. Friday in Kansas University's Dole Institute of Politics. Last year's event drew more than 200 people, which was the largest crowd since the Lawrence party began in the early 1970s, said Erv Hodges, one of the event's organizers.
"It just seems to work great that people can come in from wherever they are, spend 45 minutes and remember those who served and those who are serving," said Hodges, a retired Marine lieutenant colonel. "Then they can go back to work."
It's possible partygoers this year will include U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan. Roberts, who served in the Marines from 1958 to 1962, was invited and plans to attend if business in Washington, D.C., doesn't prevent it, representatives in his office said.
"The last I heard, if his schedule does not change he is going to be there," Hodges said.
Guest speaker this year will be Col. Steve Brown, commander of the Marine Mobilization Command in Belton, Mo. Those attending the party also will see a video address by Marine commandant Gen. James T. Conway.
Lawrence High School Chorale will sing the Marine's Hymn.
"They did an outstanding job last year. They make us all feel good," Hodges said.
Birthday cake also will be served, and the oldest and youngest Marines present will get the first two slices.