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Marines Battle of Nassau

On this day in 1775, the Second Continental Congress approves a resolution “that two Battalions of Marines be raised… .”

The first recruitments likely took place in a bar, the Tun Tavern or Conestoga Wagon, and their first battle occurred in the Bahamas.

First, every Marine is a rifleman and all recruits since World War II have learned to recite the Rifleman’s Creed, and this is the final portion of that Creed:

“Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life.”

So be it, until victory is America’s and there is no enemy, but peace!”

Next, this is the third and final stanza of The Marines’ Hymn:

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;
If the Army and the Navy
Ever look on Heaven’s scenes;
They will find the streets are guarded
By The United States Marines.

Motto and Prayer

Semper Fidelis, Latin for “Always Faithful,” has been the Marine Corps motto since 1883. It guides Marines to remain faithful to the mission, to each other, the Corps and our country.

So, it seems the purposes of this motto provide the framework for The Marine’s Prayer:

Almighty Father, whose command is over all and whose love never fails, make me aware of thy presence and obedient to thy will. Keep me true to my best self, guarding me against dishonesty in purpose and deed, and helping me to live so that I can face my fellow Marines, my loved ones, and thee without shame or fear. Protect my family. Give me the will to do the work of a Marine and to accept my share of responsibilities with vigor and enthusiasm. Grant me the courage to be proficient in my daily performance. Keep me loyal and faithful to my superiors and to the duties my country and the Marine Corps have entrusted to me. Make me considerate of those committed to my leadership. Help me to wear my uniform with dignity, and let it remind me daily of the traditions which I must uphold. If I am inclined to doubt, steady my faith; if I am tempted, make me strong to resist; if I should miss the mark, give me courage to try again. Guide me with the light of truth and grant me wisdom by which I may understand the answer to my prayer.
Amen

Marines Battle of Nassau

US Navy Flag An Appeal to God Esek Hopkins

On this day in 1775, the Continental Congress resolves to create the Continental Navy, the precursor to the United States Navy.

George Washington wrote, “It follows then as certain as that night succeeds the day, that without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious.”

So, while waiting for Congress to authorize a navy, Washington commissioned several schooners to cruise and interdict British supply lines.

This first fleet of the Continental Navy flew the “Liberty Tree Flag” with the motto “An Appeal to God.” This is seen in the image below over the left hand of Esek Hopkins, the first commander-in-chief of the Continental Navy. George Washington called him “Admiral Hopkins.”

Divine Service

Here is Article 2 of the Articles for the Government of the United States Navy:

“The commanders of vessels and naval stations to which chaplains are attached shall cause divine service to be performed on Sunday whenever the weather and other circumstances allow it to be done; and it is earnestly recommended to all officers, seamen, and others in the naval service diligently to attend at every performance of the worship of Almighty God.”

Each Sunday at the Naval Academy, the Divine Services conclude with the singing of the first verse of “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” the Navy Hymn:

Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid’st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee,
for those in peril on the sea.”

Finally, here is verse 3 of the official song of the U.S. Navy, “Anchors Aweigh”:

“Blue of the mighty deep:
Gold of God’s great sun.
Let these our colors be
Till all of time be done, done, done, done.
On seven seas we learn
Navy’s stern call:
Faith, courage, service true,
With honor, over honor, over all.”

 

US Navy Flag An Appeal to God