Remarks by Ambassador Yuri Kim at the Marine Ball on the 247th Anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps

Good evening President Begaj, Defense Minister Peleshi and friends – thank you all for joining us to celebrate the 247th birthday of the United States Marine Corps!

We gather for many events throughout the year, but this one is particularly special – and deeply personal – to me.

I was born in Korea and raised in Guam, both places where freedom was won through the courage and sacrifice of US Marines. My fellow Guamanian, Sergeant Spates, can attest that the main road that runs up and down our island is named “Marine Corps Drive.” A day cannot — or should — go by without thinking about the Marines.

For 247 years and counting, Marines have protected our nation. In the words of the Marines’ hymn, they served “from dawn to sunset…, in every climate and place.” Since 1948, they have served with America’s diplomats protecting our embassies around the world. We – America’s Marines and diplomats – share a special bond of shared service to our country. We couldn’t be more proud to represent our country together. As they did in Saigon, Phnom Penh, Islamabad, Beirut, San Salvador and Nairobi, Marines have made the ultimate sacrifice in their line of duty on our side. We could not be more grateful for your loyalty and courage.

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On behalf of the State Department, Secretary of State Blinken has sent a message to our diplomatic posts around the world on this occasion, which we have displayed here tonight. In his words, “Marines are a symbol of the American values ​​of integrity, courage, loyalty and commitment. They are the eternal embodiment of our American values ​​– 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.”

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Be it on the battlefield, in an embassy or anywhere else – their unwavering dedication to duty and country has earned them their reputation as the most trusted, respected and professional fighting force in the world.

To the US Embassy Tirana Maritime Security Officers – thank you. I hope you know that every time you greet me as I enter our embassy, ​​it is a reminder of the great honor and sacred duty we share in serving our country. As I digress, I want you to know that it is an expression of my deepest personal affection, respect, and gratitude to all of you and all that the United States Marine Corps has been, is, and ever will be.

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The motto of every Marine is Semper Fidelis – “Always Faithful”. God bless you as you keep eternal faith with the United States of America, with the American people, and with each other.

Happy Birthday and Semper Fidelis!


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