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'Happy Hanukkah, Marines!'

9:31 AM, Dec 20, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
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William McGurn, writing in the Wall Street Journal

When Jews begin their Hanukkah celebrations this week, they will commemorate a 2,200-year old revolt led by Judah Maccabee against a Greek empire attempting to crush the Jewish faith. For some, the holiday holds an added resonance, linking their military service to one of the greatest Jewish warriors of all time.

These are the Jews of the United States Marine Corps.

In the popular mind, a Jewish Marine may sound exotic. In fact, Jews have their own chapters in the history of the Corps. In his book "Semper Chai!" Howard J. Leavitt explains the compatibility with a refreshing lack of nuance: "[M]any Jews were—and are—Marines, and the basic and lofty precepts and spiritual underpinnings of the United States, the U.S. Marine Corps and Judaism are one and the same, without any differences or conflict."

In my life, Jews and Marines just go together. Maybe it started with my sister's father-in-law, Harold Green. Having grown up in a family whose first song was "The Marines' Hymn," none of my brothers were surprised that when our sister gave her heart to a nice Jewish boy, he would be one whose dad—like hers—had been a Marine. 

Whole thing here.

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