Posted at: 11/10/2012 11:12 PM
By: Brittany Lewis
(ABC 6 News) -- Saturday, the Marine Corp celebrated 273 years of service. Every year on November 10th, the Marines celebrate their birthday. Hundreds gathered at the VFW in Rochester to reflect on what it is to be a Marine.
The lighting as dim as the mood was bright. The Marine battle cry filled the VFW, silence only when the colors were presented.
"A lot of my family and friends were in the Marine Corp and I looked up to a lof them. To have a title like that is pretty amazing I think," said Garrett Zwart.
At 27, he was the youngest marine at the celebration. The oldest was 94-year-old Harold Ames. He's legally blind and has trouble walking on his own, but was determined to make it to the birthday party.
"It makes me proud to be a citizen of this country and do something to save it," he said.
One of the Marine birthday traditions is by using a sword, the oldest gets the first piece of cake and gives it to the youngest; possibly throwing a slice of wisdom in on the side.
"Once a Marine, always a Marine," said Ames.
The pride in the Marines voice is strong, whether it's talking or singing about their service.
"Marines are very proud," said Michael Dexter, a Marine who served two tours in Vietnam.
The pride celebrated the Marines that have fought in the past and those who will fight in the future.
Several of the Marines donated their money and hair to raise money to send care packages to Marines overseas.