Mayor Thomas M. Menino issued an official proclamation during a ceremony at historic Faneuil Hall establishing May 3-9 as Marine Week in Boston, kicking off a showcase of aircraft, ground elements and various community events.
Menino said the weeklong celebration highlights the contributions of Bostonian Marine heroes and the support the city has traditionally shown for its men and women in uniform.
Boston native, Lt. Gen. Joseph Dunford spoke of his personal enthusiasm for the week’s events and said the support of Boston is nothing short of phenomenal.
“There’s a great tradition of Marines in Boston,” said the commanding general for I Marine Expeditionary Force. “To have the opportunity to come back here and influence a new generation of young men and women, and let them know about the Marine Corps, is just tremendous.”
Dunford joined five others who were honored as the week’s hometown heroes. To solidify their contributions to the Corps and Boston, Dunford presented each Marine with a commemorative Marine Week pin.
“We have an extraordinarily competent, committed and dedicated group of men and women in uniform today that will do just about anything you ask them to do,” Dunford told a crowed of Bostonians. “All they really need is the support of the people, [just like] the people of Boston here for Marine Week.”
Marine Week is an opportunity to share the Corps’ culture, history and tradition with Bostonians and for them to learn about the Corps’ value to the nation.
Menino said he hopes Boston’s youth embraces the opportunity and visit with the Marines throughout the city.
“[Marines] leave their families, they leave their loved ones and go out and make sure we have the freedom we have in America today,” Menino said. “We have to instill that in our young kids.”
One of the unique opportunities that Marine Week provides to the Boston public is an opportunity to engage Marines that perform a wide array of jobs that support the nation’s defense.
Dunford said the foundation of the Corps’ success lays in its connection with the American people.
Only in its second year, the Corps is trying to build on its past success last year in Chicago.