ERIN H. GILMORE SCHOOL FOR BLIND & VISUALLY IMPAIRED CHILDREN
Keep driving after you pass the main streets of downtown Nassau in the Bahamas. The streets crowded with pastel-painted buildings that attract hundreds of tourists each day — luring them in from the cruise ships lining the shore to wander sidewalks, licking ice cream and posing for pictures in the colorful doorways, collecting memories and cheap souvenirs. Keep driving. Drive until you reach a big building across a strip mall that has seen better days. With the words “Salvation Army” and the signature red shield emblazoned across the front of the building, it’s hard to miss.
Some of my favorite quotes are from Marines.
They're typically simple and to the point. That isn't surprising since most Marines I know would rather do something than sit around describing it to you. But their quotes are so much harder hitting and less flowery than the ones by politicians about Marines, that it makes me smile. Their actions speak for themselves. Here are a few of my favorites:
“Come on you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?!” – Sgt. Maj. Dan Daly, USMC
This quote is one of the first things you see when you walk into the National Museum of the Marine Corps and it's one of my favorites. Dan Daly, the Marine who said it, was a 1st Sergeant at the time, and already had two Medals of Honor. He was leading the 73rd Machine Gun Company at the Battle of Belleau Wood, which occurred during the German Spring Offensive in World War I. To inspire his men to charge the Germans, Daly charged ahead of them yelling “Come on you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?!” The Marines had to attack six times before the Germans fell back. Later, Daly was awarded a Navy Cross for his actions that day.
“You’ll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!” – Col. Henry P. Crowe, USMC
Henry Crowe was a Marine Gunner, who is probably best known for the gritty spirit he displayed at Guadalcanal while leading the Regimental Weapons Company of the 8th Marines. The Marines were locked in fierce fighting with the Japanese, when Crowe jumped up and shouted“Goddammit, you’ll never get a Purple Heart hiding in a foxhole! Follow me!” He lead a courageous charge against Japanese positions and later received a Silver Star and Purple Heart for his actions on Guadalcanal.
“Retreat, hell! We’re just advancing in a different direction!” -- Gen. Oliver P. Smith, USMC
Oliver P. Smith commanded the 1st Marine Division during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, which was a decisive moment in the Korean War.
The battle saw 15,000 U.S. soldiers and Marines, alongside another 15,000 UN soldiers, fought through a force of 120,000 Chinese soldiers to reach the sea some 78 miles away, successfully evacuating 98,000 refugees along the way. Smith embodied the Marine spirit when he found out the numerical odds were against them, saying: “Retreat, hell! We’re just advancing in a different direction!” And he meant it – the 1st Marine Division broke through the encirclement and fought its way to evacuation at Hungnam.
There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.
-- GENERAL WILLIAM THORNSON
THE MARINES' HYMN
From the Halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.
Our flag's unfurled to every breeze
From dawn to setting sun;
We have fought in every clime and place
Where we could take a gun;
In the snow of far-off Northern lands
And in sunny tropic scenes,
You will find us always on the job
The United States Marines.
Here's health to you and to our Corps
Which we are proud to serve;
In many a strife we've fought for life
And never lost our nerve.
Ever look on Heaven's scenes,
They will find the streets are guarded
By United States Marines.
This is the official hymn of the U.S. Marine Corps. The author of the words to the hymn is unknown, although the music to the hymn is believed to have originated in 1859. The Marines’ Hymn is the oldest of the service songs of our country and has become a sacred symbol of the pride and professionalism of the United States Marine Corps.
THE SALVATION ARMY, BAHAMAS/TURKS & CAICOS DIVISION
The Salvation Army in The Bahamas is widely known for its work with the blind and visually impaired. It runs the Erin H. Gilmore School for Blind and Visually Impaired Children, which provides specialized education and life skills programs for children who otherwise would have difficulty getting an education. They also run The Workshop for Blind Adults which gives graduated students and other adults opportunities to provide for themselves with dignity. To give directly to their work, visit their website: www.salvationarmybahamas.org.