Monday, August 29, 2011

The Star-Spangled Banner
Posted in The New York Times on August 25, 2011
Kowalewski is a public historian in Washington

It was not easy to select the "Star-Spangled Banner" as America's official national anthem. It did not happen until 1931.

Music was everywhere in the North, it seemed during the summer of 1861. From presidential appearances to Union rallies, everyone was singing - usually emotional versions of "Yankee Doodle" or "Hail, Columbia" or the "Star-Spangled Banner." It's forgotten today, but in 1861 America didn't have an official national anthem; each one of those songs functioned more or less informally as the nation's rallying cry at some point in its history.

The problem was, few could agree which one, if any, was popular enough to stand as the country's official song - at a time when more and more people thought it needed one. In response, a group of Manhattan power brokers - lawyers, politicians, businessmen, scholars, and a former senator and New York governor - who called themselves the National Hymn Committee, decided to find a new, official anthem.

The committee wrote off the three existing contenders immediately: "Yankee Doodle" was "childish," they said. "Hail Columbia" was "pretentious." The "Star-Spangled Banner" was just too hard to sing - indeed, according to the committee's spokesman, Richard Grant White, they found it "to be almost useless."

Library of Congress Richard Grant White, spokesman for the National Hymn Committee.

The committee turned to the literary public for help. From mid-May to early August, it held a contest challenging Yankee poets to compose "a national hymn or popular and patriotic song appealing to the national heart," as George Templeton Strong, a committee member, described it. The competition would be judged blindly, and the committee retained the rights to publish and market the entries, the proceeds of which would go to the local "Patriotic Fund." To the winner, however, the 13 committeemen promised $500 and the thanks of a grateful nation.

Though the hymn committee sought something with lasting appeal - something more than "a war song," it said - it was no coincidence that the competition took place early in the conflict. The "Star-Spangled Banner" was arguably the most-recognizable song in the Union, but in the context of the war it suddenly felt out of place. It dated to the War of 1812 and had ridden the wave of popular nationalism that followed America's second victory over the British. But after nearly two generations of contentious and equivocal compromise over slavery, many northerners were leaving that earlier world behind. Writing a new national anthem seemed a logical next step for a country in the process of reinventing itself. After all, White recalled that summer, following the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter "we all found ourselves side by side with one feeling, one purpose, forgetful of the past, absorbed in the present and the future."

Library of Congress Front cover of a song book of patriotic songs, including "Yankee Doodle," "Star Spangled Banner," "Hail Columbia" and, notably, "The Marseillaise."

It quickly became clear that many northerners shared in the hymn committee's opinions. Within six weeks of the contest's announcement, the committee had received 1,275 entries ("Four or five huge bales of patriotic hymnology," according to Strong) from as far afield as California and even Italy.

Over the next month and a half, the committee - assisted by an organist and choir - met to review the submissions. Its roster was a who's who of Manhattan's upper crust, but never once, it appears, did the full committee meet together. One member, John A. Dix, a former treasury secretary and now Union general, couldn't even attend. He was too busy maintaining law and order from his post at Fort McHenry in Maryland, where, just weeks after missing the hymn committee's first round of judging, he imprisoned Baltimore editor Frank Key Howard on charges of disloyalty. Howard, coincidentally, was the grandson of Francis Scott Key, the author of the "Star-Spangled Banner."

Unlike the committee members, little is known about the musicians and poets who scratched out those thousands of lines of verse. Because the judges promptly discarded most of the submissions, the authors- identities disappeared as well. But what we do know reveals a general cross section of northern society. The participants included the well educated and barely literate, the provincial and the worldly, ministers and musicians, and a middle-aged woman named Julia Ward Howe - who had yet to write her legendary "Battle Hymn of the Republic."

Likewise, the few of their poems that do exist convey a range of emotion: vengeance, militancy, confidence and optimism. They had such titles as "Union Forever," "The Ballot-Box," "Freedom's Jubilee," "Liberty's Beacon" and 1861. Many sought divine inspiration, though others offered comic relief. Some championed the war as "freedom's second birth,- while others spoke of finding comfort in the "shades of our forefathers." One imaginative soul even set the Declaration of Independence to rhyme.

The problem was, the committee couldn't agree on a clear winner. But not because there were so many good options - rather, it was because there were hardly any. On Aug. 9, 1861, the hymn committee announced that it couldn't, in all fairness, choose a winner. "Although some of [the songs] have a degree of poetic excellence which will probably place them high in public favor as lyrical compositions," it said in the New York Times, "no one of them is well suited for a National Hymn." Strong was more blunt in private: most poems were "rubbish."

The controversy, however, didn't end there. The criticism from northern literary circles came hard and fast, and many agreed with Harper's Weekly that patriotism couldn't be "made to order." Not to be outdone, the committee itself refused to let the issue die. A few of the poems had been saved, and that fall Richard Grant White published them - good and bad - in the book "National Hymns: How They Are Written and How They Are Not Written, A Lyric and National Study for the Times." The volume was both a meditation on music and nationalism and a clarification of the committee's decision. Strangely enough, many newspapers gave the book rather positive reviews. Like most, the Christian Advocate and Journal appreciated the wartime gallows humor. "The worst [anthems]," it said, "will doubtless be the most entertaining."

Such cynicism didn't last long. Within months, the "Battle Hymn of the Republic" would hit the North, capturing the Union's voice in biblical terms unlike anything the hymn committee could have ever imagined.

The north would continue writing music throughout the war, but when it counted most many Yankees simply fell back on the songs they knew best. Roughly four years after his stint on the hymn committee, George Templeton Strong overheard something remarkable in the streets of New York. Richmond had just fallen to Union forces, and crowds began to fill Wall Street near the offices of the Commercial Advertiser:

Never before did I hear cheering that came straight from the heart. They sang 'Old Hundred,' the Doxology, 'John Brown,' and 'The Star-Spangled Banner,' repeating the last two lines of Key's song over and over, with a massive roar from the crowd and a unanimous wave of hats at the end of each repetition. I think I shall never lose the impression made by this rude, many-voiced chorale. It seemed a revelation of profound national feeling, underlying all our vulgarisms and corruptions, and vouchsafed to us in their very focus and centre, in Wall Street itself.

In 1931, as the Great Depression again tested the country's resolve, the "Star-Spangled Banner" was signed into law as America's official national anthem.
Sources: American Publishers - Circular and Literary Gazette, Oct. 14, 1861; Baltimore Sun, May 20, June 24 and Aug. 12, 1861; Christian Advocate and Journal, Oct. 10, 1861; Chicago Tribune, Aug. 13, 1861; Harper's Weekly, June 1, Oct. 19 and Nov. 16, 1861; Hartford Daily Courant, May 9 and May 20, 1861; New York Daily Tribune, Aug. 10, 1861; New York Observer and Chronicle, Oct. 24, 1861; New York Times, May 18, May 20, July 28 and Aug. 18, 1861; National Republican, Aug. 13, Oct. 5, Oct. 12 and Oct. 29, 1861; Saturday Evening Post, Nov. 30, 1861; The Independent, May 30, Oct. 10 and Dec. 12, 1861; Vanity Fair, June 22, June 29, July 6, July 13, Aug. 24, Oct. 19 and Nov. 9, 1861; Allan Nevins and Milton Halsey Thomas, eds., 'The Diary of George Templeton Strong,' vol. III; Richard Grant White, "National Hymns: How They Are Written and How They Are Not Written, A Lyric and National Study for the Times." See also, Kenneth A. Bernard, "Lincoln and the Music of the Civil War"; Robert James Branham and Stephen Hartnett, ?Sweet Freedom?s Song: "My Country 'Tis of Thee' and Democracy in America"; Robert J. Brugger, "Maryland: A Middle Temperament, 1634-1980"; Cecil D. Eby, Jr., "The National Hymn Contest and -Orpheus C. Kerr",- Massachusetts Review 1 (1960); Alice Fahs, "The Imagined Civil War: Popular Literature of the North and South, 1861-1865"; Adam Goodheart, "1861: The Civil War Awakening"; George J. Svejda, "The History of the Star-Spangled Banner from 1814 to the Present"; Lonn Taylor, et al., "The Star-Spangled Banner: The Making of an American Icon."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mitchell Paige, Platoon Sergeant
United States Marine Corps

Mitchell Paige (August 31, 1918 - November 15, 2003) was a recipient of the Medal of Honor from World War II. He received this, the highest military honor awarded by the United States of America, for his actions at the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands on October 26, 1942, where, after all of the other Marines in his platoon were killed or wounded, he operated four machine guns, singlehandedly stopping an entire Japanese regiment.

Early life
Paige was born in Charleroi, Pennsylvania. His parents were Serb immigrants who arrived in the United States from the Military Frontier of Croatia, their last name being Pejic. His mother kept him and his brother in touch with their roots, reminding them of the Battle of Kosovo, but also told them to be proud Americans.

Military service
In the Battle of Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands, on October 26, 1942, while a platoon Sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, he held his line against advancing Japanese forces even after all of his comrades had been killed or wounded. After reinforcements arrived, Paige led a counterattack against the Japanese, which successfully repelled the enemy forces and held the American line. While on Guadalcanal he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the field on December 19, 1942. General Alexander Vandegrift presented Paige with the Medal of Honor in a special ceremony in Balcombe, Australia, on May 21, 1943 for his actions. Paige later served in the Korean War.

Later life and death
Paige retired in 1959 with the rank of Colonel. In retirement, Paige wrote a book about his experiences titled A Marine Named Mitch (published in 1975). In his later years, he served to ferret out imposters wearing or selling the Medal of Honor.

On November 15, 2003, Paige died of congestive heart failure at his home in La Quinta, California at the age of 85. He was the last surviving Medal of Honor recipient of the Guadalcanal campaign. He was buried with full military honors at the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California.

Honors and awards
Through his life Paige received numerous awards both as a member of the military and as a civilian. In addition to receiving the Medal of Honor, he was also an Eagle Scout and had a G.I. Joe action figure designed in his likeness.

Military awards
Among his numerous military decorations were: the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Good Conduct Medal, the China Service Medal, the American Defense Service Medal with Base clasp, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two bronze stars, the American Campaign Medal, the Victory Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Service Medal, the Marine Corps Reserve Ribbon, and the United Nations Service Medal.

Medal of Honor citation
The President of the United States takes pride in presenting the MEDAL OF HONOR to

for service as set forth in the following

For extraordinary heroism and conspicuous gallantry in action above and beyond the call of duty while serving with the Second Battalion, Seventh Marines, First Marine Division, in combat against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands Area on October 26, 1942. When the enemy broke through the line directly in front of his position, Platoon Sergeant Paige, commanding a machine-gun section with fearless determination, continued to direct the fire of his gunners until all his men were either killed or wounded. Alone, against the deadly hail of Japanese shells, he manned his gun, and when it was destroyed, took over another, moving from gun to gun, never ceasing his withering fire against the advancing hordes until reinforcements finally arrived. Then, forming a new line, he dauntlessly and aggressively led a bayonet charge, driving the enemy back and preventing a break through in our lines. His great personal valor and unyielding devotion to duty were in keeping with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Maj. General Smedley Butler,
      U. S. Marine Corps
War Hero, Antiwar Activist (1881-1940)
       Speaks out in his own words

"I served in all commissioned ranks from second lieutenant to Major General. And during that period I spent most of my time being a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer for capitalism. I suspected I was just part of the racket all the time. Now I am sure of it."

Major General Smedley Darlington Butler, also known as "The Fighting Quaker." At the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in US history, and the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two separate military actions. He was also an unrelenting voice against the business of war.

Raised by prominent Quaker parents, Smedley Butler defied his pacifist lineage by joining the Marines just before his 17th birthday. He served in Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico and Haiti (earning his Medals of Honor in the latter two places). He served and distinguished himself in World War I, although he was not stationed on the front lines for combat. Butler was known for his leadership and commitment to the welfare of the men under his command. He rose quickly through the ranks to become one of the youngest major generals at age 48.

Butler was very vocal against what he saw as a rise in admiration for Fascism and Mussolini. He told an unfavorable story about Mussolini for which he was court-martialed. Rather than recant and apologize, Butler retired from the military in 1931. By then, he had also begun questioning US involvement in foreign conflicts. Butler saw the US as being imperialistic, that war (in particular WWI) was really a profitable business for the few at the expense of thousands of lives, and that he himself was a cog in the war machine. In a booklet titled War is a Racket, Butler wrote, “In the World War a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War….How many of these war millionaires shouldered a rifle?....The general public shoulders the bill. And what is this bill?....Newly placed gravestones. Mangled bodies. Shattered minds….For a great many years, as a soldier, I had a suspicion that war was a racket; not until I retired to civil life did I fully realize it. Now that I see the international war clouds gathering, as they are today, I must face it and speak out. "War is a Racket grew out of a series of speeches Butler gave to whatever group wanted to hear his views. Veterans, groups with Communist leanings" it did not matter to him. This often drew criticism against Butler, but he was steadfast in his beliefs about war, US imperialism, and a growing Pro-Fascist movement. He spoke frankly and honestly about his experiences and opinions, and was very popular with the American public.

In 1934, Butler went before the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) to expose a conspiracy against the government. He had been recruited by a group of wealthy Pro-Fascists who had hoped to use him in a coup against President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He went along, gathering intelligence about the plot, and took it to Congress. Butler’s assertions were not aggressively pursued, and the matter largely dismissed. However, an internal report to Congress from HUAC confirmed the veracity of the plot, though no more action was taken. For more on this, go to .

Smedley Butler died in 1940, but his presence is still very much alive. The Boston, MA chapter of Veterans For Peace is named the Smedley D. Butler Brigade, and he is featured in the documentary "The Corporation." A free copy of War is a Racket is available at .

Monday, August 15, 2011

Nancy Wake
Proud Spy and Nazi Foe
Nancy Grace Augusta Wake, AC, GM (30 August 1912 - 7 August 2011), nicknamed "The White Mouse", served as a British agent during the later part of World War II. She became a leading figure in the maquis groups of the French Resistance and became one of the Allies most decorated servicewomen of the war.

Early life
Born in Roseneath, Wellington, New Zealand, Wake was the youngest of six children. In 1914, when she was two years old, her family moved to Sydney, Australia and settled at North Sydney. Later, her father Charles Augustus Wake went back to New Zealand and never returned to Sydney, leaving her mother Ella Wake nйe Rosieur (1874-1968) to raise the children.

In Sydney, she attended the North Sydney Household Arts (Home Science) School (see North Sydney Technical High School). At the age of 16, she ran away from home and worked as a nurse. With Ј200 that she had received from the will of an aunt, she journeyed to New York, then London where she trained herself as a journalist. In the 1930s she worked in Paris and later she worked for Hearst newspapers as a European correspondent. She witnessed the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi movement, and witnessed the violence toward Jews, Romas, blacks and protesters on the Paris streets and in Vienna.

Wartime service and Special Operations Executive
In 1937 she met wealthy French industrialist Henri Edmond Fiocca (1898-1943), whom she married on 30 November 1939. She was living in Marseille, France when Germany invaded. After the fall of France in 1940, she became a courier for the French Resistance and later joined the escape network of Captain Ian Garrow. In reference to her ability to elude capture, the Gestapo called her the White Mouse. The French Resistance had to be very careful with her missions as her life was in constant danger and the Gestapo were tapping her phone and intercepting her mail.

By 1943, she was the Gestapo's most wanted person, with a 5 million-franc price on her head. When the network was betrayed that same year, she decided to flee Marseille. Her husband, Henri Fiocca, stayed behind where he was later captured, tortured and executed by the Gestapo. Wake had been arrested in Toulouse, but was released four days later. She succeeded, on her sixth attempt, in crossing the Pyrenees to Spain. Until the war was over, Wake had been unaware of her husband's death and subsequently blamed herself for it.

After reaching Britain, Wake joined the Special Operations Executive. Vera Atkins, who also worked in the SOE, recalls her as "a real Australian bombshell. Tremendous vitality, flashing eyes. Everything she did, she did well". Training reports record that she was "a very good and fast shot" and possessed excellent fieldcraft. She was noted to "put the men to shame by her cheerful spirit and strength of character".

On the night of 29-30 April 1944 she was parachuted into the Auvergne, becoming a liaison between London and the local maquis group headed by Captain Henri Tardivat. Upon discovering her tangled in a tree, Captain Tardivat greeted her, remarking "I hope that all the trees in France bear such beautiful fruit this year." to which she replied “Don’t give me that French shit.- Part of her duties were to allocate arms and equipment that were parachuted in and minding the group's finances. She became instrumental in recruiting more members, making the maquis groups into a formidable force, roughly 7,500 strong. She also led attacks on German installations and the local Gestapo HQ in Montluзon.

From April 1944 to the liberation of France, her 7,000 maquisards fought 22,000 SS soldiers, causing 1,400 casualties, while taking only 100 themselves. Her French companions, especially Henri Tardivat, praised her fighting spirit, amply demonstrated when she killed an SS sentry with her bare hands to prevent him raising the alarm during a raid. During a 1990s television interview, when asked what had happened to the sentry who spotted her, Wake simply drew her finger across her throat. On another occasion, to replace codes her wireless operator had been forced to destroy in a German raid, Wake rode a bicycle for more than 500 miles (800 km) through several German checkpoints. During a German attack on another maquis group, Wake, along with two American officers, took command of a section whose leader had been killed. She directed the covering fire with exceptional coolness, facilitating the group's withdrawal without further losses.

Immediately after the war, Wake was awarded the George Medal, the United States Medal of Freedom, the Mйdaille de la Rйsistance and thrice the Croix de Guerre. She also learned that the Gestapo had tortured her husband to death in 1943 for refusing to disclose her whereabouts. After the war she worked for the Intelligence Department at the British Air Ministry attached to embassies of Paris and Prague.

Wake stood as a Liberal candidate in the 1949 Australian federal election for the Sydney seat of Barton, running against Dr. Herbert Evatt, then Deputy Prime Minister, Attorney-General and Minister for External Afairs in the Ben Chifley Labor government. While Chifley lost government to Robert Menzies, Wake recorded a 13 percent swing against Evatt, with Evatt retaining the seat with 53.2 per cent of the vote on a two-party preferred basis. Wake ran against Evatt again at the 1951 federal election. By this time, Evatt was Deputy Leader of the Opposition. The result was extremely close, however Evatt retained the seat with a margin of fewer than 250 votes. Evatt slightly increased his margin at subsequent elections before relocating to the safer seat of Hunter by 1958.

Wake left Australia just after the 1951 election and moved back to England. She worked as an intelligence officer in the department of the Assistant Chief of Air Staff at the Air Ministry in Whitehall. She resigned in 1957 after marrying an RAF officer, John Forward in the December of that year. They returned to Australia in the early 1960s. Maintaining her interest in politics, Wake was endorsed as a Liberal candidate at the 1966 federal election for the Sydney seat of Kingsford Smith. Despite recording a swing of 6.9 per cent against the sitting Labor member Daniel Curtin, Wake was again unsuccessful. Around 1985, Wake and John Forward left Sydney to retire to Port Macquarie.

In 1985, Wake published her autobiography, entitled The White Mouse. The book became a best seller, and it has been reprinted many times.

After spending 40 years together her husband, John Forward, died at Port Macquarie on 19 August 1997; the couple had no children.

In 2001 she left Australia for the last time and emigrated to London. She became a resident at the Stafford Hotel in St James's Place, near Piccadilly, formerly a British and American forces club during the war. She had been introduced to her first "bloody good drink" there by the general manager at the time, Louis Burdet. He had also worked for the Resistance in Marseilles. In the mornings she would usually be found in the hotel bar, sipping her first gin and tonic of the day. She was welcomed at the hotel, celebrating her 90th birthday there, where the hotel owners absorbed most of the costs of her stay. In 2003 Nancy Wake chose to move to the Royal Star and Garter Home for Disabled Ex-Service Men and Women in Richmond, London, where she remained until her death.

Film and television producers used Ms. Wake's early life as a basis for various works, and she generally approved of them, except for those suggesting that she had love affairs during the war. She did not have affairs, she insisted in a 1987 Australian documentary.

"And in my old age, I regreat it," she said. "But you see, if I had accommodated one man, the word would have spread around, and I would have had to accommodate the whole damn lot."

Wake died at age of 98 on Sunday evening 7 August 2011 at Kingston Hospital after being admitted to hospital with a chest infection. She had requested that her ashes be scattered at Montluзon in central France.

Wake was appointed a Chevalier (knight) of the Legion of Honour in 1970 and was promoted to Officer of the Legion of Honour in 1988.

Initially, she refused offers of decorations from Australia saying "The last time there was a suggestion of that I told the government they could stick their medals where the monkey stuck his nuts. The thing is if they gave me a medal now, it wouldn't be love so I don't want anything from them". It was not until February 2004, that Wake received the Companion of the Order of Australia.

In April 2006, she was awarded the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services' Association's highest honour the RSA Badge in Gold. Wake's medals are on display in the Second World War gallery at the Australian War Memorial Museum in Canberra.

On 3 June 2010, a 'heritage pylon' paying tribute to Wake was unveiled on Oriental Parade in Wellington, New Zealand, near the place of her birth.

Friday, August 12, 2011

U. S. Marine Corps Hymn
The "Marines' Hymn" is the official hymn of the United States Marine Corps. It is also the oldest official song in the United States military. The "Marines' Hymn" is typically sung at the position of attention as a gesture of respect. However, the third verse is also used as a toast during formal events, such as the birthday ball and other ceremonies.

Some of the lyrics were popular phrases before the song was written. The line "To the shores of Tripoli" refers to the First Barbary War, and specifically the Battle of Derne in 1805. After Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon and his Marines hoisted the American flag over the Old World for the first time, the phrase was added to the battle colors of the Corps. "The Halls of Montezuma" refers to the Battle of Chapultepec, during the Mexican-American War, where a force of Marines stormed Chapultepec Castle.

While the lyrics are said to date from the 19th century, no pre-20th century text is known. The author of the lyrics is likewise unknown. Legend has it that it was penned by a Marine on duty in Mexico. The unknown author transposed the phrases in the motto on the Colors so that the first two lines of the Hymn would read: "From the Halls of Montezuma, to the Shores of Tripoli", favoring euphony over chronology.

The music is from the Gendarmes' Duet from an 1867 revision of the 1859 opera Geneviиve de Brabant by Jacques Offenbach, which debuted in Paris in 1859. Correspondence between Colonel Albert S. McLemore and Walter F. Smith (the second leader of the Marine Band) traces the tune:

“ Major Richard Wallach, USMC, says that in 1878, when he was in Paris, France, the aria to which the Marines' Hymn is now sung was a very popular one. ”

The name of the opera and a part of the chorus was secured from Major Wallach and forwarded to Mr. Smith, who replied:

“ Major Wallach is to be congratulated upon a wonderfully accurate musical memory, for the aria of the Marine Hymn is certainly to be found in the opera, 'Genevieve de Brabant'... The melody is not in the exact form of the Marine Hymn, but is undoubtedly the aria from which it was taken. I am informed, however, by one of the members of the band, who has a Spanish wife, that the aria was one familiar to her childhood and it may, therefore, be a Spanish folk song. ”

John Philip Sousa once wrote:

“ The melody of the 'Halls of Montezuma' is taken from Offenbach's comic opera, 'Genevieve de Brabant' and is sung by two gendarmes. ”

Some websites claim that the Marine Corps secured a copyright on the song on 19 August 1891, but this is in error; the copyright was vested on 18 August 1919. In 1929, the Commandant of the Marine Corps authorized the three verses of the Marines' Hymn as the official version, but changed the third and fourth lines:

Pre-1929 version
Admiration of the nation,
we're the finest ever seen;
And we glory in the title
Of United States Marines.

Authorized change
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean;
We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

This older version can be heard in the 1950 film Halls of Montezuma. On 21 November 1942, Commandant Thomas Holcomb approved a change in the words of the first verse's fourth line from "On the land as on the sea" to "In the air, on land, and sea" to reflect the addition of aviation to the Corp's arsenal.

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

Extra verses
Various people over the years wrote unofficial or semi-unofficial extra verses to commemorate later battles and actions, for example, this verse commemorating the occupation of Iceland during World War II:

Again in 1941, we sailed a north'ard course
and found beneath the midnight sun, the Viking and the Norse.
The Iceland girls were slim and fair, and fair the Iceland scenes,
and the Army found in landing there, the United States Marines.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Victory over Japan Day

NOAH'S NOTE: On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, the last island (Okinawa) in a chain of many was invaded by Americans. My First Marine Division made the first Pacific offensive invasion of World War II on the island of Guadalcanal on Aug. 7, 1942 - 3 years and 1 week later, the enemy (Japan) surrendered. My age was 17 when I experienced my first battle. I was 20 years and 3 days old when the war ended 66 years ago. In September, my First Marine Division was sent to North China to accept the surrender of the Japanese that had been occupying most of China for years. This was necessary since Chiang Kai-shek's army had been driven to South China and would require months from his army to return to North China. I did not return to the States until April 1946, and I still was not old enough to buy a beer or to vote. On August 11, I will celebrate my 85th birthday.

Victory over Japan Day (also known as Victory in the Pacific Day, V-J Day, or V-P Day) is a name chosen for the day on which the Surrender of Japan occurred, effectively ending World War II, and subsequent anniversaries of that event. The term has been applied to both the day on which the initial announcement of Japan's surrender was made in the afternoon of August 15, 1945, in Japan, and because of time zone differences, to August 14, 1945, (when it was announced in the United States, Western Europe, the Americas, the Pacific Islands, and Australia/New Zealand), as well as to September 2, 1945, when the signing of the surrender document occurred.

August 15 is the official V-J Day for the UK while the official US commemoration is September 2. The name, V-J Day, had been selected by the Allies after they named V-E Day for the victory in Europe.

On September 2, 1945, a formal surrender ceremony was performed in Tokyo Bay, Japan aboard the battleship USS Missouri. In Japan, the day usually is known as the "memorial day for the end of the war" (Shusen-kinenbi?); the official name for the day, however, is "the day for mourning of war dead and praying for peace" (Senbotsusha wo tsuitoshi heiwa wo kinennsuru hi?). This official name was adopted in 1982 by an ordinance issued by the Japanese government.

August 15 is commemorated as Liberation Day in Korea.

A little after noon in Japan Standard Time on August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito's announcement of Japan's acceptance of the terms of the Potsdam Declaration was broadcast to the Japanese people over the radio. Earlier the same day, the Japanese government had broadcast an announcement over Radio Tokyo that "acceptance of the Potsdam Proclamation [would be] coming soon," and had advised the Allies of the surrender by sending a cable to U.S. President Harry S Truman via the Swiss diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C. A nation-wide broadcast by President Truman was aired at seven o'clock p.m. (daylight time in Washington, D.C.) on August 14 announcing the communication and that the formal event was scheduled for September 2. In his announcement of Japan's surrender on August 14, President Truman said that "the proclamation of V-J Day must wait upon the formal signing of the surrender terms by Japan". The formal Japanese signing of the surrender terms took place on board the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945, and at that time Truman declared September 2 to be the official V-J Day.

Since the European Axis Powers had surrendered three months earlier (V-E Day), V-J Day would be the official end of World War II. In Australia and most other allied nations, the name V-P Day was used from the outset. The Canberra Times of August 14, 1945, refers to VP Day celebrations, and a public holiday for VP Day was gazetted by the government in that year according to the Australian War Memorial.

On August 15 and 16 some Japanese soldiers, devastated by the surrender, committed suicide. Well over 100 American prisoners of war also were executed. In addition, many Australian and British prisoners of war were executed in Borneo, at both Ranau and Sandakan, by the Imperial Japanese Army. At Batu Lintang camp, also in Borneo, death orders were found which proposed the execution of some 2,000 POWs and civilian internees on September 15, 1945.