The Marine Corps already had 146 years of tradition to look back on in 1921 when Maj. Gen. John A. Lejeune drafted an order to be read each year on Nov. 10.
“With it we have also received from them the eternal spirit which has animated our corps from generation to generation and has been the distinguishing mark of the Marines in every age,” Lejeune, the commandant of the Marine Corps at the time, wrote.
Marines across the world will celebrate the 234th birthday of the Corps Tuesday, and the orders of Lejeune — who was later promoted to lieutenant general — will be read at every celebration, including the one at 10:30 a.m. at the Dole Institute of Politics, 2350 Petefish Drive, on Kansas University’s West Campus.
“It’s something that Marines do everywhere,” said Erv Hodges, a Lawrence resident who served in the Marines from 1948 to 1970. “It’s short. It’s sweet. And it’s a remembrance.”
About 200 people are expected to attend the Lawrence celebration.
Col. Ivan Glasco, the assistant chief of staff of Marine Corps Mobilization Command, will be the keynote speaker. Glasco is filling in for Col. Stephen D. Waldron, chief of staff at mobilization command, because Waldron is attending the funeral of a Marine recently killed in combat.
Glasco will receive the first piece of a birthday cake at the Lawrence celebration. The oldest Marine in attendance will get the second piece, and the third piece will go to the youngest Marine.
The Lawrence High School Chorale will also perform during the ceremony.
Hodges, a former Lawrence mayor who retired as a Marine lieutenant colonel, said Lejeune’s emphasis on celebrating the birthday each year is still important today.
“It is, especially with the number of Marines that we have serving in Iraq and Afghanistan and other places around the world,” he said.