MARINE CORPS AIR STATION BEAUFORT, S.C. --
A parade in honor of the Parris Island Centennial
Celebration was held in Port Royal, S.C. Oct. 24. Veterans, service members and
local residents attended to show their pride on this momentous occasion.
The parade consisted of marching bands, reserve
officer training corps from local schools, and vintage military vehicles
provided by private owners.
Marines from the Tri-command attended to show
their support for Parris Island and the surrounding community.
“It’s quite the
turn out today,” said Jim Andrews, a retired Marine living in Port Royal. “This
kind of event is exactly why so many retired guys like me live in the area.”
On-lookers carrying Marine posters and flags lined
the streets as the parade headed downtown. The day ended with a screening of
the documentary "Parris Island: 100 Years of Making Marines" aboard
Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island.
“There’s nothing like the
community we have here in Port Royal,” said Col. Neal Pugliese, director of
Operations at MCRD. “People here love the military and we do what we can to
give back to them.”
Both the parade and the documentary are among the
numerous celebrations and events that have occurred throughout the area
commemorating the depot's 100th year of training Marines.
“America couldn’t ask for a better place to train
Marines,” said Andrews, who graduated from Parris Island in 1966.
For years, he has watched young recruits, like him
and those before him, enter the depot as hopeful recruits and come out as
“The training that those recruits go through is
outstanding,” said Andrews. “It’s completely different from when I was there,
but it makes this generation of Marines stronger.”
The depot was
transferred from the Navy to the Marine Corps Nov. 1, 1915. It was previously
called Marine Barracks, Port Royal, and later as Marine Barracks, Parris
Island, before becoming Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island in 1919.
“The centennial is a time for both celebration and
reflection,” said Pugliese. “[the depot] has come a long way in 100 years and
we can’t forget about our past.”
The parade follows a ceremony aboard Parris Island,
Oct. 16, which was attended by the general public along with Gen. Robert B.
Neller, the 37th Commandant of the Marine Corps.
"We couldn't have done [this parade] without
the community,” said Pugliese. "It's really the model for the rest of the
nation for how our community partners and the Marine Corps should
“It makes me proud to live here and to have
served,” said Andrews. “There is so much pride and patriotism in this town.”