Happy 235th Birthday, U.S. Marine Corps

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U.S. Marines carry an Afghan Army soldier injured in IED explosion to a helicopter in southern Afghanistan

REUTERS/Peter Andrews

Before America established its footing as an independent nation, the unit defined as “The Few, The Proud” had already launched its quest to defend freedom.

Wednesday marks the 235th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps. The Marines’ history division reveals that the Nov. 10 date was formally commemorated in 1921 — 151 years after the Second Continental Congress raised two battalions of Continental Marines in 1775. That makes the Marine Corps nearly eight months older than America itself.

(See photos of Marines’ tattoos in Marjah, Afghanistan.)

Political officials took to the Twitter airwaves, celebrating the event with a chorus of thanks for the service done by members stationed around the globe. The Hill notes that as of 10:30 a.m. EDT, 24 officials tweeted about the occasion, including former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and expected incoming House Majority Leader John Boehner.

(See video of Marines witnessing a civilian casualty in Afghanistan.)

Aside from tweets, how do Marines themselves commemorate the special day? The Palm Beach Post writes that local units partake in a special passing of cake. The oldest service member takes the first bite, and then passes the fare around in descending order until the youngest service member consumes the final piece.