News: Children celebrate Marine Corps' birthday
Story by Kristen Wong
MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII - Children of Marine Corps Base Hawaii Marines and sailors bounced in inflatable houses to their hearts’ content, posed for photos with the 2013 MCB Hawaii birthday pageant actors, played tic-tac-toe with a Navy diver and feasted on cake at the 2013 Children’s Birthday Bash at Dewey Square, Nov. 2, 2013.
“There’s a lot of things for the kids to do,” said Samantha Dean, who brought her children to the bash. “We were in line when the (pageant actors) came up in (period) uniform. They were asking about the uniforms. It’s cool to see Tun Tavern. I’m excited for the girls.”
The bash, held annually by Marine Corps Family Team Building, offers games, activities and cake for children as Marines celebrate their branch’s historical birthday. This year, the Corps turns 238 years old, and Marines everywhere are attending their annual unit birthday balls.
“The purpose of the Children’s Birthday Bash is to get kids involved with the Marine Corps birthday. There is so much symbolism (they can learn),” said Jaime Yasumatsu, the Lifestyles, Insights, Networking, Knowledge and Skills trainer, and this year’s bash coordinator. “Their parents go to the ball, but this is something for the kids to do.”
With obstacle courses, static displays and a magic show by local magician Kelvin Chun, the children had plenty to do, like Madison Van Buren, 6, who said she liked holding the baby turtles at the Creatures of Hawaii booth and repeated the obstacle course many, many times.
Gabriel Brice, who attended his first birthday bash Nov. 2, danced on stage during the magic show. He considered his first bash amazing.
Colonel Timothy Winand, the commanding officer of 3rd Marine Regiment was the guest of honor at the bash. Winand asked the children to gather in front of him.
“Wow,” exclaimed the children as Winand unsheathed a black and gold officer’s sword.
He sunk the blade into the soft, white frosting of the ceremonial cake, adorned with a blue frame and an image of a bulldog in the center.
“No matter where we are in the world we celebrate the birth of the Marine Corps and it’s a really, really important time-honored tradition that we have,” Winand said. “Another time-honored tradition that we have associated with the Marine Corps birthday is --”
“CAKE!” the children screamed.
Jelina Rojas, a 10-year-old bash attendee received the first piece of cake as she represented the oldest child at the event. Gavin Bagley, a 5-year-old bash attendee, received the second piece of cake, representing the youngest, after which the cake was divided among the rest.
“(I liked) the magic show, the cake, EVERYTHING,” said Jordan Rojas.