Happy (Belated) Birthday, Marines!
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Jews For The Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Inc.
P.O. Box 270143
Hartford, WI 53027

Phone (800) 869-1884
Fax (425) 451-3959

November 12, 2004



The last several days have been filled with news events. Falluja is being stormed as we speak, Yasser Arafat is dead, and John Ashcroft has stepped down as Attorney General, only to be replaced by Alberto Gonzalez, who wrote the infamous 2002 memo defending the use of torture in the war on terrorism.

During this maelstrom, one small but important event slipped by: November 10 was the 229th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. The history of the USMC is particularly relevant in light of current events; ironically, the Marine Corps was created in order to - among other roles - protect our fledgling nation against the predations of radical Islamics, the Barbary pirates of North Africa.

In the mid to late 18th century, pirate ships and crews from the North African states of Tripoli, Tunis, Morocco, and Algiers (the Barbary Coast) were the scourge of the Mediterranean. Capturing merchant ships and holding their crews for ransom provided the rulers of these nations with wealth and naval power. Consequently, on November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress meeting in Philadelphia passed a resolution stating that "two Battalions of Marines be raised" for service as landing forces with the fleet. While the Marine Corps (along with the Navy) was disbanded following the conclusion of the Revolutionary War, it was formally re-established in 1798.

As many people know, "Semper Fidelis” (“Always Faithful”) is the motto of the Corps. Marines have lived up to this motto - there has never been a mutiny, or even the thought of one, among U.S. Marines. In an interesting side note, the Marine Corps shares its motto with England’s Devonshire Regiment, the 11th Foot, one of the senior infantry regiments of the British Army, whose sobriquet is “the Bloody Eleventh” and whose motto is also Semper Fidelis.

Sadly, there are always those who would seek to pervert this tradition of service and protection. Many of our readers are likely familiar with the "Twenty-Nine Palms" survey, in which US Marines were asked if they would fire upon American citizens. As many as a third responded "yes". It should be noted, however, that this survey was distributed only to a few hundred Marines, as part of an academic project by a Lieutenant Commander Ernest Guy Cunningham who was earning his Masters Degree. Lt. Cunningham has stated that the survey was intended to confirm and then pass on to higher authorities his fears about "the lack of knowledge among the soldiers about the U.S. Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and their heritage as Americans."

For more information on the history of the USMC, see the links below. We especially encourage our readers to read the lyrics to the Marine Corp Hymn.

Marine Corp Hymn
A Brief History of the USMC
America and the Barbary Pirates
Joel Barlow and the Treaty with Tripoli

We at JPFO thank the Marine Corp for their 229 years of service to our country. Happy Birthday Marines, and Semper Fi!

- The Liberty Crew

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