News: 10th Marines celebrate Saint Barbara’s day
Story by Lance Cpl. Joey Mendez
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. - Marines with 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, smiled, laughed and shared stories as they raised their drinks in a toast at the New Bern Convention Center to honor the patron saint of artillery, St. Barbara, Jan. 16.
The event brought together the newest members of the regiment to the most experienced artillerymen, as well as guests from within the artillery community to help build their unbreakable bond and passion for being artillerymen.
According to legend, St. Barbara’s father, the tyrant Dioscorus, a pagan, feared that his daughter was so beautiful that she would be demanded in marriage and taken away from him and would have exposure to Christianity. Therefore, he secluded her in a tower to hide her from the world. In her solitude, she would look out of her window and view living things and believed it was all part of a master plan so she gave herself to religion and received instruction into Christianity, and was baptized.
Her father Dioscorus, infuriated by her conversion, tortured his daughter and eventually took her life by beheading. As punishment for her death, God struck Dioscorus with lightning leaving only his sword as a reminder of God’s vengeance.
Because of her connection with lightning, people often call upon St. Barbara for protection against thunder, lightning, and accidents involving explosions or gunpowder. This is why artillerymen have an annual event to celebrate and give their thanks to this patron saint.
It is an opportunity to get together and celebrate our heritage and history as an artillery community and have fun,” said Sgt. Maj. Dave Zhorne, the regimental sergeant major, from Tama, Iowa.
The celebration consisted of awarding Marines with the Fraternal Order of Saint Barbara, presenting the wives with necklaces representing the Molly Pitcher Award, several humorous skits and videos displaying the fantasies artillerymen live and the mixing of the punch.
Zhorne said the Fraternal Order of Saint Barbara is for Marines who have dedicated their life to going above and beyond what it means to be an artilleryman. He spent the first 18 years of his career as an artilleryman and has now been the sergeant major of the regiment for more than two years. Zhorne is also a member of the prestigious group
“We are one of the few communities in the Marine Corps that celebrate our heritage,” added Zhorne.
With the celebration coming to an end the Marines toasted to the United States of America, the Army and Navy, Marine Corps, artillerymen, and of course their patron saint, Barbara.