My role as “meet and greet” photographer is pretty simple: show up ready to shoot, photograph the groupings and anonymously you leave.
Last evening’s shoot was different. I enter the library, Gen. James Mattis’ and my eyes connect, he reaches out his arm to shake my hand, I say “thank you for your service General, SEMPER FI” at which point his handshake became wildly enthusiastic, and his smile could not have been greater. After the photo shoot, one of the guests asked me if I were a Marine. I replied my husband was a Seabee, having served two tours in Vietnam, and it was he who said if I had the opportunity to speak with Gen. Mattis I should offer the Marine Corp motto, coined in 1883, “Semper fi” which means “always remain faithful to the mission”.
Mattis opened by honoring the veterans in the audience, including one from WWII: “generation after generation you have carried our flag in your hearts and the patriot's fire in your belly, a fire that keeps alive our experiment that we call America.” He stressed the importance of learning history, and if there were mandatory reading materials for an incoming President of the United States it would include the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America, The Bill of Rights and 1776, by David McCullough. “This country was not granted to us; a lot of blood and sweat went into its formation.”
Semper fi oorah
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