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Marines gather in Lenexa to celebrate 239th birthday

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LENEXA, Kan. -- Monday, Nov. 10 marks a very special birthday for one branch of our military. It is the 239th birthday for the United States Marine Corps and local Marines are celebrating in Lenexa.

Honor. Courage. Commitment.

These are the three core values of every Marine, and they are celebrated every November 10 as Marines old and young gather to celebrate the founding of the Corps.

The celebration in Lenexa has grown over the years. Organized by the Lenexa Police Department, it's a time for all local Marines to gather in fellowship.

"The funny saying is, once a Marine, always a Marine," Sgt. Stephen Wasylchak said. "You’re never out of the Marine Corps.  Once you have that title, you have it for the rest of your life"

Marines have been fighting side by side for 239 years, protecting America from enemies both foreign and domestic. This military branch came into existence on November 10, 1775.

Congress approved the formation of the Marines during the American Revolution, to fight the English on both sea and shore.

Over the years, the Marines have become known for fighting in some of the most violent battles overseas, but they have also performed countless humanitarian missions.

The Marine motto is Semper Fidelis, which means "always faithful," and that is part of what this birthday celebration is all about -- Marines both active and retired, showing that they remain faithful to their brothers and sisters in arms.

"There’s a brotherhood of men here who have accomplished a lot in the community, have given a lot and are happy to be able to do that," Retired Staff Sgt. Max Deweese said.

They've only been officially celebrating the Marines birthday -- with cake and a party -- for 93 years.

There will be a ceremony beginning at 7:30 Monday morning where they will cut the cake and the first piece will go to the oldest Marine in attendance.