CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- Members of 2nd Marine Division, both past and present, gathered for a memorial service and a battle colors rededication ceremony to celebrate the unit’s 74th birthday aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, Jan. 30, 2015.
The day led off with a memorial service and candle lighting to honor the fallen heroes of the unit. A candle was lit, and a bell was rung as Nick Naumov, the second Vice President of the Second Marine Division Association, announced the number of lives lost and Marines wounded for each battle that 2nd Marine Division played a role in.
Marines past and present honored the units and battles fought by 2nd Marine Division during the battle colors rededication ceremony. The ceremony consisted of SMDA members walking alongside current members of the division to attach a battle streamer to the division’s colors.
Since its upcoming in 1941, the division has fought in every clime and place all the way from Guadalcanal in 1942, the Cuban missile crisis in 1962 and to the most recent battles fought in the Middle East.
“Through the association, past members of 2nd Marine Division come back to celebrate the beginning of the unit all the way to the present day,” said Sgt. Maj. David L. Bradford, the sergeant major of 2nd Marine Division.
Battle streamers were attached to the unit’s colors for each of the awards the division has earned.
“When they put those streamers up, for them, it’s not about the streamer but the pair that walk it out there,” said Bradford. “We pair a member of the association with a current member of the division to represent the older remembering the past and the newer member carrying it forward.”
“It’s about going back and bonding …We remember those who have fallen to give us our freedoms,” said Bradford.