The annual Marine Corps Birthday Cake cutting at Drumthwacket (the intern current Governor's Mansion) was held on Sunday, November 18th in Princeton, NJ. The Master of Ceremonies was our own, Mario Monaco assisted by the ever competitent brother of his Dominic. Natural progression of event started a bit late upon arrival of Governor Philip Murphy.
A welcome by Lt. Col John Chacko Jr. was followed by the Invocation and then a Parade of Color Guard from"G" Battery 3/14. The National Anthem was followed by Gunny Mario with the introduction of Lt. Colonel Chacko Jr. After this ended the reading of the 13th Commandan, Lt. General LaJeune's message and then the Birthday Message from our current Commandant, Robert B. Neller.
A special presentation was given to the distinguished guest followed by the Cake Cutting. That was performed by Lt. Col Chacko and the oldest and youngest Marine. After that was finished Gunny held the closing remarks along with Jack McGreevey, Marine and father of a previous Governor James McGreevey. The program ended with the closing prayer.
The audience had available some delicious soup as the even was held outdoors in 40 degree temperatures. After the ceremony the audience then proceeded into the mansion for a light lunch of sandwiches, a mediocre macaroni salad, chips, a pepper dish, cookies and soft drinks or coffee. Cake was available at the finish of the lunch.
Inside the mansion the guests could be heard to say, "Ahhh warmth." as it was delightful. Tom Miller gave away free prints of his RECON drawing. the 22" x 26" prints were flying off the table for a period and a few more were ordered as Slattery ran out of the 100 brought. also given with most prints was a request for a donation to be sent to California to help the Marines effected by the Fires of early-mid November. I don't know how many will comply but it was worth the effort.
Also for the amusement of the guests was a set-up of various types of vintage machine guns. A picture layout and books sat on a table near-by.
Slattery was well represented by Mario and Dominic Monaco and Henry Zimmer (from West Hudson detachment) in dress blues. Eddie and Linda Neas, Don and Nancy Campbell, Robert and Anita Dante, Anthony and Angela Florentino, Lois Gomez and his bulldog "Caffe," Tom and Rose Marie Miller and probably one or two the are not mentioned. Sorry about that.
The program started at 1215 and ended at 1430-1500. The 2.5 to 3 hours was an enjoyable time meeting many influential guests and spending time with them. Oh yes, we also met the Governor.