AP NEWS

Local Marines celebrate 242nd birthday with ceremony Friday

November 11, 2017 GMT

The U.S. Marine Corps celebrated its 242nd birthday on Friday, and North Platte veterans gathered at 319 E. Francis St. for a cake-cutting ceremony.

Every year, Kevin Kennedy hosts an appreciation meal for the nation’s veterans, which includes a cake celebrating the Marines.

“Marines stick together, they take care of each other,” Kennedy said. “That’s what this event is all about. It’s about the flag, our country. It’s about supporting everybody.”

Although it was the Marines’ birthday, veterans and members of all branches of the military were welcome to attend. Veterans’ families along with local first responders and law enforcement were also invited.

It is tradition for the oldest and youngest Marine in attendance to cut the cake. This year, Adam Cooper, 33, Walt Weaver, 89, and Don Ryan, 92, all helped with the cake cutting, using a sword provided by Adam Sheesley.

Weaver and Ryan were attending the event for the first time, but John Owen said he tries to make it every year. Owen served in the Army during the Vietnam War, but was not stationed overseas.

“I think it’s fabulous,” Owen said of the event.

Cooper also praised Kennedy and the event for bringing the service members together.

“It’s a good chance for all the different age groups, different generations, to catch up with each other,” he said.