Honor, courage, and commitment1. These are the values of the United States Marine Corps developed from over 246 years of resolute and selfless service to our country.
On December 8, 1941, hundreds of men lined up in front of recruiting stations around America to join the military following the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii on December 7, 1941. It was December 8, 1941, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered his famous speech to Congress declaring December 7 as a “date which shall live in infamy.”2
I took the photo above at the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Quantico, Virginia.3 The scene depicts Marine’s landing on the beaches of Tarawa4 on November 20, 1943, nearly two years after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Two bloody years had passed for the United States and there would be almost two more years before World War II ended.
Honor, courage, and commitment. Yes, they are the values of the U.S. Marine Corps, but I believe they were also the values of those who survived, and were killed and wounded at Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, North Africa, Wake Island, Midway, Italy, Bougainville, New Guinea, France, Germany, and throughout many other locations on land, sea, and in the air over the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.
Honor, courage, and commitment are tried and true values that all of us would do well to adhere to. However, I wonder how many people in America believe more in comfort, fear, and entitlement. Let us not forget that December 7, 2021, was the 80th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, and let us embrace honor, courage, and commitment.
1Marine Corps Values | Marines
2Speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt, New York (Transcript) | Library of Congress (loc.gov)
3National Museum of the Marine Corps – The National Museum of the Marine Corps (usmcmuseum.com)
4Across the Reef: The Marine Assault of Tarawa (ibiblio.org)