TO THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE

Date Signed: 5/13/2008
ALMARS Active Number: 020/07

UNCLAS 111320Z APR 07
CMC WASHINGTON DC(UC)
TO  AL ALMAR(UC
ALMAR 020/07
MSGID/GENADMIN/CMC WASHINGTON DC CMC//
SUBJ/TO THOSE WHO HAVE GONE BEFORE//
GENTEXT/REMARKS/1.  TO BE A MARINE IS TO BE A PART OF SOMETHING
THAT REPRESENTS THE BEST OF OUR NATION. IT IS TO ACCEPT A WAY OF
LIFE THAT EMBODIES SELFLESS SERVICE - TO DEFEND THOSE WHO CANNOT
DEFEND THEMSELVES, TO THRIVE IN THE HARDSHIP AND SACRIFICE
EXPECTED OF AN ELITE WARRIOR CLASS, TO MARCH TO THE SOUND OF THE
GUNS, AND TO ABLY SHOULDER THE HERITAGE CREATED BY THOSE WHO HAVE
GONE BEFORE US.
2.  ONLY A FEW AMERICANS CHOOSE THE DANGEROUS AND NECESSARY WORK
OF FIGHTING OUR NATION'S ENEMIES.  AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THAT CHOICE,
SOME HAVE PAID THE ULTIMATE PRICE, JOINING THE HONOR ROLL OF
HEROES WHO BUILT THE NOBLE LEGACY OF OUR CORPS.  FOR THOSE OF US
WHO CARRY ON THAT LEGACY, IT IS OUR OBLIGATION TO HONOR THOSE
FALLEN MARINES.  AS MARINES GATHER IN CELEBRATION OF OUR HISTORY,
WE GATHER IN THE SHADOWS OF GREATNESS - THOUGH OUR FALLEN CAN NO
LONGER PARTICIPATE IN OUR TRADITIONS, THEY WILL ALWAYS BE A PART OF
US AND WHO WE ARE.
3.  THEREFORE, I AM DIRECTING THAT ALL UNIT MESS NIGHTS AND MARINE
CORPS BIRTHDAY BALL CELEBRATIONS INCLUDE WORTHY AND APPROPRIATE
TRIBUTES TO OUR FALLEN COMRADES.  SUBSEQUENT CHANGES TO THE DRILL
AND CEREMONIES MANUAL WILL REFLECT THIS REQUIREMENT.  THROUGH
MEANINGFUL REMEMBRANCE, THE SACRIFICES OF "THOSE WHO HAVE GONE
BEFORE" WILL NOT BECOME DISTANT MEMORIES, BUT WILL LIVE ALWAYS IN
OUR WARRIOR CULTURE.
4.  SEMPER FIDELIS, JAMES T. CONWAY, GENERAL, U.S. MARINE CORPS,
COMMANDANT OF THE MARINE CORPS//