Thursday, April 20, 2006

Semper Fidelis

From the official U.S. Marine Corps website:

Semper Fidelis was adopted about 1883 as the motto of the Corps. Taken from Latin, it means "Alwas Faithful." But it is more than just a motto for Marines, it is a way of life. It is a commitment we all share to our country, to our Corps, and to each other. This is why there are no ex-Marines, only former Marines.

Thanks for the Memory to Trouble at Dubious Wonder.

If you're unclear on what that statement at the Corps website means, if you don't get it, if you want a glimpse of the kind of sacrifice and commitment and camaraderie that's embodied in the phrase "Semper Fidelis" (or "Semper Fi" for short), go read these twelve pages.

Done reading? Now do you get it?

It's all there: the faithfulness to their country even if it means dying (Lincoln's "final full measure of devotion); the faithfulness to each other even beyond that death ("Instead, he found himself faced with an assignment that starts with a long walk to a stranger's porch and an outstretched hand. It continues with a promise steeped in the history of the Corps that most people associate only with the battlefield: Never leave a Marine behind"). And it goes beyond that -- there's a faithfulness being displayed in these stories that is obvious, but that the USMC site modestly overlooks: The Marine Corps is, in return, faithful to its Marines, and to their families.

Semper Fidelis. Always faithful. Not just to each other, but to a country that sometimes repays that fidelity with scorn. That is why, when it comes to those in our military, this lifelong civilian has adopted for himsef a motto based on the Marine Corps motto: Semper Memoralis.

Always Grateful.

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