View Full Version : Marine Tradition

06-25-03, 08:19 AM
Marine Tradition

The Marines have an old tradition,
Believed to be Corps wide.
It's one that salutes our brothers
Who've passed to the other side.
A single rose by a turned down glass
Resides at the table's end...
A tiny bit of nostalgia,
And a tribute to absent friends.
Each in his turn will look that way,
Each with his cup abrim,
Each will remember a fellow Marine
With "there's Tommy or Frank or Jim".
There are those whose name escape us,
And those we can't recall;
Long history dims identity,
But we drink to them one and all.
When my earthly life is over,
And to the tables end I pass,
Future Marines will remember,
And turn down an empty glass'.

~Author Unknown~



07-05-03, 12:56 AM
Never heard this one before, but it sounds good to me. Anybody have more on this tradition. Where and when is it appropriate?

I have heard the old toast; "To absent freinds" with the reply; "Well remembered".


07-07-03, 07:42 AM
ON the Marine Security Guard program, we do it at our Marine Balls

07-07-03, 08:56 AM
The tradition started after World War I and was based upon a poem written by a Royal Marine to honor their dead. The poem is listed here:

To Absent Friends

A toast.
Raise your glasses in the air
To absent friends who are not there.
They left some time ago you see
And now their hearts no longer breathe.

They left
To sail the seas and conquer all;
But from bare ground their bones now call.
Their rifles point up to the air
While good men, dead, are lying there.

They fought
To halt the march of Hitler's men.
They gave their lives for freedom then
The one force that they could not fight:
Death seized the men and quenched their might.

They died
Their bodies strewn on France's fields
Of green. In front the mourners kneel
To remember them and cry a tear
For absent friends who gave their lives.


07-07-03, 10:27 AM
Does the "FALLEN COMRADE" ceremony come to mind in this??

The table, set for one,
a white cloth,
a single rose,
yellow ribbon,
a slice of lemon, and salt,
and the chair, leaned against the table,


for the fallen Comrade to return.

I've seen this ceromony performed a couple of times, but always by the Army. I don't recall a toast, or an empty glass.

Looking for feedback.