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Happy Birthday Marines!



Retired Marine General Michael Sullivan is proud of the Marines..He gave a speech at the Naval Aviation Depot, Cherry Point celebrating the Corps' 226th Birthday. He has sent me this Tribute to it. Here is the opening section:

"As he watched his army of more than 800 defenders crumble and flee before the ferocious assault, Governor Mustapha of Tripoli probably thought to himself, "Who are these guys?" The 60 attackers, led by one Lt. Presley Neville O'Bannon, were outnumbered by more than 10-1.They didn't seem fazed by the size of the defending force. Mustapha can be forgiven for not knowing who the attackers were in April 1805. The word was getting around by the late 1840s, when another bunch of them stormed the hills near Mexico City and entered Chapultepec Castle, the site where Emperor Montezuma had reigned long ago".

My comment. For the Aztec rulers, Chapultepec was simply a summer residence of which nothing remains. It is forgotten. The present palace was completed in 1840 as a military college. It was defended only by its young cadets when US forces attacked it in 1847. We intend to make a special study of Mexico in our history textbook project. This episode provides an excellent case. The US Marines see it as a glorious triumph. For Mexicans it is a sad day when ceremonies there honor the heroic youths who all died fighting the US invader. It is an important item in the causes of anti-US feeling in Mexico.

Ronald Hilton - 11/11/01


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