Marine Corps Hymn

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The Marine Corps Hymn
One of the best known of the official military songs is the Marine Corps Hymn. And yet, no one knows who made it or exactly how old it is. Legend has it that it dates back to the Mexican-American War (1846-1848). It wasn’t officially copyrighted until 1917 when W.E. Christian published it in the book “Rhymes of Rookies” ( Even though we don’t know its exact origin, we do know what the song stands for and what it means. The hymn praises the idealism of the Marine Corps and also looks back on historic moments Marines have dealt with and overcome.
Different parts of the Hymn refer to specific historical events. The first line “From the halls of Montezuma” refers to when the Marines captured Chapultepec Castle in 1847 during the Mexican-American War. The castle was in the heart of Mexico City, Mexico’s capital. It served as a military academy and also offered protection to the rest of the city. After its capture the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed and the war was over ( This was one of the bloodiest battles in Marine Corps history and the red stripe—called blood stripes—on the Marines dress uniform is to commemorate the bloodshed during the battle. It signifies the tenacity of the Marines who won despite being outnumbered by the Mexicans.

The second line “to the shores of Tripoli” refers to the First Barbary War (1801-1805), which was the first war the United States had declared on foreign land and seas. Specifically,

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