“From the Halls of Montezuma, to the shores of Tripoli; We fight our country’s battles in the air, on land and sea. First to fight for right and freedom, and to keep our honor clean. We are proud to claim the title of United States Marine.”
A packed banquet hall full of Marine Corps members and their families proudly sang those words Saturday night, followed by a resounding “Oorah!,” at the 35th annual Marine Reunion hosted by the local chapter of the Marine Corps League.
Veterans of every U.S. war and conflict since World War II, as well as active duty marines, were honored at Saturday’s event, which drew a crowd of nearly 300.
“It’s basically 80 years of Marine Corps history in the room tonight,” said Mike Shepherd, League member and emcee of the event.
Of the 38 detachments of the Marine Corps League in Ohio, Youngstown has the third-largest chapter, according to Shepherd. Not everyone in attendance was a member of the league, however, nor were they all from Ohio — some traveled from California, New Jersey, Virginia, Pennsylvania and many other places to be a part of the reunion.
The guest of honor was Sgt. Major Mike Mervosh, a Pittsburgh native who enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942 and fought in the battles of Roi-Namur, Marshall Island, Saipan, Tinian and Iwo Jima during World War II, as well as serving during the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Mervosh addressed the crowd, remarking on what it means to be a marine and on some of his personal experiences.
Read more about the event in Sunday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.