|Two-hundred-thirty-three years of applied mayhem and military tradition. God bless you all.
When I joined the Corps (shortly after the Earth's crust cooled, of course) I wanted to be part of the tradition of Vera Cruz and Chapultepec, of Belleau Wood and Guadalcanal. I trained hard and worked hard to (in the words of the hymn) "keep our honor clean." I helped carry the flame for a few years.
You who carry the flame today, however, have surpassed any effort I made. You have won new honors, added new victories to the roll call of our Corps. You paid for those victories with the same currency as the men of Belleau Wood and Guadalcanal; you paid in exhaustion and blood and loss. In doing so, you proved that you are the equals of any generation of Marines in its history.
Thank you, and Semper Fi
god bless you all