Memorial Day Tribute: Uncommon Valor is Still A Common Virtue

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Following the savage fighting that took place on Iwo Jima in one of the pivotal battles of World War II, Navy Admiral Chester Nimitz, in praising the Marines who fought there said: “Uncommon valor was a common virtue.” He was right, and the Marines of today are still exhibiting the uncommon valor of which Nimitz spoke all those years ago. For today’s Marines, uncommon valor is still a common virtue. In war and in peace, the United States Marine Corps can be counted on to be where the action is, doing whatever it takes to win the battle or help those in need. Consequently, when a relief helicopter went down while bringing life-giving supplies to earthquake victims in Nepal it came as no surprise that six of the personnel aboard were Marines.

The Marines on that ill-fated chopper in Nepal were doing what Marines have been doing since the Corps’ founding in 1775: risking their lives to save and protect the lives of others. All of the brave young Marines who died in Nepal knew they were putting their lives on the line when their chopper took off on that fateful day. How did they know? Because risking life and limb is part of the job description of all Marines. It’s not just what they do—it’s in their DNA. This is why whenever there is a mission that must be done right and must be done now, American presidents have long said: “Send in the Marines.”
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