On November 10, 2006 we celebrated the Marine Corps Birthday. I heard that there would be a cake cutting ceremony and wasn’t sure what that would be like. It ended up being a very simple, yet moving, experience.
The guys in the kitchen prepared a beautiful cake. The sides were covered with fresh strawberries and the top was covered with kiwi. But it was not the cake that made the ceremony.
The XO and Camp Commandant approached the cake. A retired Marine (he’s here now as a government contractor) came forward and received the first piece symbolizing his service to his country and his Corps. Next, COL Vitali, as the oldest Marine present came forward and received the next piece of cake. He held it as the youngest Marine came forward and received the piece from COL Vitali. He took a bite as it was explained that the passing of the cake from the “old” to the “new” symbolized the passing of knowledge and tradition from those Marines with experience, knowledge and wisdom to the young recruits who still have so much to learn. COL Vitali was then given the third piece of cake.
Like I said it was really simple but it said so much. I’ve never seen this ceremony done before and probably won’t again, but I was glad to be there and witness this tradition.