Thursday, September 13, 2007

Marine Corps History

The "blood" red stripe and the halls of Montezuma, via the tank:

Today marks — yes, another Marine Corps anniversary — the 160th anniversary of the storming of Chapultepec (the castle defending Mexico City) during the Mexican-American War, 1847.

"...for the Marines, the taking of Chapultepec and ultimately Mexico City gave us two things:
  • The first five words of our hymn: "From the halls of Montezuma, to the
    shores of Tripoli ..."

  • The "blood" red stripe along the seams of our dress-blue uniform trousers
    (Marines don't wear pants).

The origin of the blood stripe is more tradition than fact. But we Marines heartily claim it. According to tradition, the blood stripe represents the blood shed by Marines storming Chapultepec. And the reason only corporals and above are authorized to wear the stripe is because there was such a high percentage of NCOs and officers killed in the taking of the castle.

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