JACKSONVILLE -

Camp Lejeune is celebrating the 237th birthday of the U.S. Marine Corps with ceremonies and the traditional cake-cutting ceremony.
    
Marine Corps spokesman Nat Fahy says Friday's ceremony at Liversedge Field rededicated the Marine Corps colors. Fahy says it included Marines from the II Marine Expeditionary Force, subordinate commands and the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.
    
During the cake cutting ceremony, the first piece of cake was presented to the oldest Marine present, while the second piece went to the youngest Marine.  The ceremony was followed by a pageant in which Marine Corps uniforms from 1775 to the present were viewed.

The ceremony honored all Marines - past and present.  "I think of the young Marines with no flak jackets and no helmets," said Sergeant Major Ernest Hoopii.  "What was their protection? Probably their faith in god."

Women, who were established in the Marine Corps in 1943, were also honored.  "What they bring to the fight is all the things that men bring to the fight," said Hoopii." I'm proud to serve, have served and will continue to serve with my fellow women Marines because we're all Marines."

The official birthday is Nov. 10, but it is celebrated early because it falls during Veterans Day weekend.