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Marine Corps Base Hawaii

"Supporting Readiness and Global Projection"

MCB Hawaii celebrates 238th birthday with annual pageant

By Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg | Marine Corps Base Hawaii | November 15, 2013

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Marines with Headquarters Battalion gather in a display of historical pageantry, after a dress rehearsal for the annual Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Dewey Square, Nov. 6, 2013. The uniforms replicate those worn in the periods ranging from the Revolutionary War to the current MARPAT utilities. Each of the uniforms highlights the evolution of the Marine Corps from past to present, showing we still carry the same values and traditions today as we did when it was born in Tun Tavern, Pa. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg)

Marines with Headquarters Battalion gather in a display of historical pageantry, after a dress rehearsal for the annual Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Dewey Square, Nov. 6, 2013. The uniforms replicate those worn in the periods ranging from the Revolutionary War to the current MARPAT utilities. Each of the uniforms highlights the evolution of the Marine Corps from past to present, showing we still carry the same values and traditions today as we did when it was born in Tun Tavern, Pa. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg)


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Marines dressed in different uniforms of the Marine Corps stand side-by-side before the colors are retired from the parade deck during the final moments of the 2013 Marine Corps Base Hawaii birthday pageant at Dewey Square, Nov. 8, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg)

Marines dressed in different uniforms of the Marine Corps stand side-by-side before the colors are retired from the parade deck during the final moments of the 2013 Marine Corps Base Hawaii birthday pageant at Dewey Square, Nov. 8, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg)


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Retired Sgt. Maj. James Snyder, an 82-year-old veteran of the Korean War and Vietnam, who served for 28 years, and a native of Dayton, Ohio, shakes hands with Marines dressed in uniforms from periods throughout Marine Corps history during the 2013 Marine Corps Base Hawaii birthday pageant at Dewey Square, Nov. 8, 2013. Each costume is a replica of a uniform worn during different historical eras, from the Revolutionary War high collar, or “Leatherneck,” to the current camouflage utilities. Each uniform highlights the evolution of the Marine Corps from past to present, while also showing Marines still carry the same values and traditions today as when the Corps was established in 1775. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg)

Retired Sgt. Maj. James Snyder, an 82-year-old veteran of the Korean War and Vietnam, who served for 28 years, and a native of Dayton, Ohio, shakes hands with Marines dressed in uniforms from periods throughout Marine Corps history during the 2013 Marine Corps Base Hawaii birthday pageant at Dewey Square, Nov. 8, 2013. Each costume is a replica of a uniform worn during different historical eras, from the Revolutionary War high collar, or “Leatherneck,” to the current camouflage utilities. Each uniform highlights the evolution of the Marine Corps from past to present, while also showing Marines still carry the same values and traditions today as when the Corps was established in 1775. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg) (Photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg)


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MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII -- The young man marched with the blood stripe running down his leg as his trousers tucked into the leather lace, which cuffed his shoes. On his torso he wore a dark coat that suited a fighting machine. He was born in Tun Tavern, Penn., and he shared his story of how he came to be. He was a Marine.

Service members, veterans, families and guests attended the annual Marine Corps Base Hawaii birthday pageant at Dewey Square, Nov. 8, 2013. The pageant honored Marines and veterans as the Marine Corps prepared to celebrate its 238th birthday, Nov. 10.

For the pageant, 30 Marines and sailors don distinct uniforms from historical eras. From the Revolutionary War high collar, or “Leatherneck,” to the current camoufl age utilities, each uniform highlights the evolution of the Marine Corps since it was established in 1775.

The uniforms worn by the service members during the pageant are kept on base and maintained year round to reduce wear and tear.

“All of the uniforms are authentic, from the gunpowder used in the rifles to the 48-star flag,” said Robert Keogh, caretaker of the pageant uniforms, and an 81-year-old native of Medway, Mass. “Long story short, I started doing this back in 1992, and I’ve been doing it ever since. It’s always an honor to see past Marines honored through the display of their uniform.”

The pageant began as the color guard marched the colors onto the parade field. Marine Corps and Navy pageant participants took to the field one after another to narrate their roles in history before taking their permanent spots on the field.

Representing service members from the Revolutionary War era to present day, the Marines and sailors trotted out of “Tun Tavern,” fighting their way to the microphone to share their piece of the Marine Corps’ story with the audience.

Veterans in the audience who served in the various wars in which the Corps was involved were asked to stand and be recognized for their service.

“The pageant was outstanding, and you can tell the Marines actually care about the roles they portrayed,” said retired Sgt. Maj. James Snyder, an 82-year-old veteran of the Korean War and Vietnam, who served for 28 years, and a native of Dayton, Ohio. “Things like this give the audience a glimpse of where the Marines came from.”

After the actors finished their speeches, six Marines gave a battle cry as they ran onto the parade field to recreate the iconic flag-raising scene that took place in Iwo Jima, Japan, during World War II.

“It was definitely a good opportunity for me to be a part of the pageant,” said Pfc. Victor Mancilla, a reproduction specialist with Combat Camera, who wore the Revolutionary War uniform, and is a 20-year-old native of Austin, Texas. “The show was good for veterans to come out and enjoy while giving families a perspective of how we came to be.”

Before the pageant ended, Lt. Col. Robert Maldonado, commanding officer of Headquarters Battalion, cut a birthday cake and spoke to the audience. Maldonado thanked the actors for their unwavering commitment to making this year’s pageant a success.

After speaking, Maldonado returned to his seat and Marines retired the colors as the participants lined up, represent the service members of each historical era.

“This means a lot to us because we know what it’s like to serve our country,” Mancilla said. “So all of this is a way for us to honor our brothers and sisters who have fallen before us.”

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