CAMP PENDLETON — More than 150 service members, families and distinguished guests gathered for an evening colors ceremony at the Historic Santa Margarita Ranch House, Sept. 29.
The annual event marked the base’s 69th anniversary, and was conducted in honor of the Marines and sailors who continue to devote, risk and sacrifice their lives in the name of freedom.
Guests were greeted by Col. Nicholas F. Marano, commanding officer, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, in a meet-and-greet before the ceremony, and enjoyed music and food at the Ranch House dining facility.
The ceremony began at sunset, with Marano briefly outlining the history of the area and how it came to be Camp Pendleton.
“This base has served as a training ground for thousands of Marines in both war and peace,” said Marano. “We are excited to be moving forward with several construction projects so we can better serve the more than 45,000 Marines that call Camp Pendleton home.”
After closing remarks, the American and Marine Corps flags were retired to the enchanting melodies of the 1st Marine Division band.
“The ceremony was a pleasure to watch,” said Jim Wood, mayor of Oceanside. “It’s always a treat to watch the Marines.”
Camp Pendleton, established Sept. 25, 1942, is named for Maj. Gen. Joseph Henry Pendleton, a dedicated Marine who for years advocated in setting up a training base for the Marine Corps on the West Coast.
Today the base spans more than 125,000 acres and is the site of year-round training for Marines other branches military. Despite a daytime population of around 100,000 service members, families and government employees, the base remains the last major undeveloped portion of the Southern California coastline.
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