ST. LOUIS --
Francis G. Slay, Mayor of St. Louis, officially commenced Marine Week during a proclamation ceremony at the War Memorial, June 20.
"St. Louis is honored to host Marine Week 2011," said Slay. "The Marines' commitment to community, country, and Corps is woven into this city's culture and is one to which St. Louisans can certainly relate. We welcome our men and women in uniform and look forward to bolstering St. Louis as a gateway to the Corps."
Marines belonging to the local reserve unit, 3rd Battalion, 24th Marine Regiment; many of whom are from St. Louis, will show the people of the city what their Marine Corps is made of during more than two dozen events.
"Marine Week directly connects our Marines to the American public. St. Louisans will have the opportunity to hear Marines' first-hand stories of service and to talk to Marines about their day-to-day job responsibilities," said Colonel Bryan Salas, Director of Public Affairs, and Headquarters Marine Corps. "The week also offers a unique opportunity for the Marines to demonstrate why the Corps is America's expeditionary force in readiness. We invite everyone to meet us in St. Louis to celebrate the Corps' past, present and future."
State-of-the-art ground vehicles, aircraft, weaponry and equipment displays are at the Gateway Arch, Ballpark Village at Busch Stadium, and War Memorial. These displays showcase the, MV-22 Osprey, AH-1W Cobra, CH-53E Super Stallion, Amphibious Assault Vehicle (AAV), Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicle, High Mobility Artillery Rocket System and the M777 Howitzer -- all of these used by Marines in combat.
“This week is our opportunity to share the heritage, history and traditions of the Marine Corps with the great patriots of St. Louis,” said Lt. Col. T. Shane Tomko, commanding officer, 3/24, Special Purpose Marine Air Ground Task Force Marine Week. “There will be daily parades through the streets, blood drives, park rebuilding projects and at the end of today’s ceremony, a Marine sentry will be posted right here at the War Memorial, 24 hours a day to show St. Louis we are always on duty.”
As part of the week's events, attendees can enjoy performances and demonstrations by the Silent Drill Platoon, Marine Corps martial arts instructors, Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany Band, All-Marine sports teams and military working dog teams. The focal point of these displays is the Marine Air-Ground Task Force demonstration on Friday and Saturday, where Marines will highlight their singularly unique ability to fight battles in the air, on land and sea.
Free and open to the public, all Marine Week events will honor and recognize Marines, especially those from and stationed in Missouri, for their service and sacrifice. Currently, more than 2,300 active duty and reserve Marines from Missouri are serve across the globe.
The Marine Week schedule along with event locations is listed on the Marine Week homepage, www.Marines.mil/MarineWeek. For updates, follow Marine Week on Twitter @USMC (#MarineWeek) or become a fan on Facebook at Facebook.com/Marines.