ARLINGTON, Va. --
On Nov. 10, 2016 retired Marines from 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment gathered at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., as part of the Marine Corps Birthday.
This reunion of Marines was started in 1984 as a way for retired Marines from 2/9 to find each other, but it is also open to any retired Marines who want to sign up.
“I have been going to these reunions for 25 years now, and this is the only place where I can truly remember my friend,” said Robert Barclay, retired Marine with 2nd Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment. “I have been able to see old friends, pay respect to those who didn’t make it, and associate with the current day Marines.”
As part of the reunion, the President’s Own and Marines from Marine Barracks Washington performed during the event. The Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Sgt. Maj. Ronald L. Green and the Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. Robert B. Neller also made an appearance to honor the veterans.
“The best part about this reunion for me has been to see the new Marines, feel the spirit, hear the music, see the flag, and most of all to see the monument and realizing all the Marines who fought and served on those islands and gave their lives,” said James Ruffer retired Marine colonel. “This memorial and all it represents is inspiring to all Marines because of the price in blood that the Marines have paid to keep this country free.”
After the performance from the President’s Own and the Marines from 8th and I, the Commandant of the Marine Corps took charge of the Marines and the Marines’ Hymn was played to honor all who came and all who couldn’t.
“The history of the Marine Corps has always been go to war, protect America, live or die, but always be a Marine, and that is what we honor,” said Ruffer.