The Marine Ball was last night and it is always fun to witness, but very thought provoking.  The presentation of the “Colors” (the flag) with the National Anthem always leaves tears in my eyes.   Every year they have a video message from the Commandant of the Marine Corps telling about the birth of the Corp on November 10, 1775 and all it has gone through.  I hear it every year and I still love the story.  For those who don’t know, the Corp was born in Tun Tavern and Brewery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania promising free rum to those who joined.  As with ever year, there is also a guest speaker, and this year’s was one of the best I have seen.  Very active in his speech and vibrant deep inside.  His love for the Marine Corp was such that he literally could not stand still as he spoke.

When I told MotherDear about the upcoming gala, she wanted me to take many pictures of pretty women.  I think she was hoping I would end up with a wife if I did; but there was a nice supply of such, so I did as I was told.  I start off with this one.  She is a Brazilian friend of mine who speaks fluent Australian English.  Yes.  She learned her English while a student in Australia.  I love listening to her accent, and evidently someone else did too, because she was the MC for the Ball.Below are three young girls who attended.  Their parents were sitting at a nearby table, so they behaved themselves.  I kept trying to offer them wine, but they chose not to fall into a life of debauchery so early in life.   … that and they are too young to drink.So, I’m going to post several more before returning to the Ball itself. I found it fascinating how easy it was to take these pictures after telling them my 99-year-old mother wanted pictures of pretty women.  All except one did not question it and gladly posed.  The lone questioner asked me if these were for my 99-year-old mother or myself.  … Duh!

Okay.  After catching our breath, we move on to the good people who provide protection for us during the event.  I work closely with these men and have great respect for them.  Several you have already met in a previous post.  The first one is Lucas with the orneriness just waiting to escape, and the very serious Antonio who hurts my hand when we greet each other.  And the good Marcelo who is another supervisor.They may not be pretty, but they are incredible to work with.  And below are some of the Guard Force Coordinators.  On my right is a gentleman I call “Little Santos” and on the left is Fabio.  Again, very good men.The ceremony has a cake cutting which is symbolic in many ways.  I recorded the video for it, but my phone says it’s too big to send to my computer.  But believe me when I say it is amazing to witness.  Below are more pictures of the evening. And lastly, I post one of the most poignant images of the evening, which is the table set aside for those who gave the Ultimate Sacrifice and did not return.Every year I look forward to this event.  Knowing my son is a former Marine, and me working with scores of the men and women who chose this life, my respect for them is deep.  I thank them and I look up to them.