Semper Fi and Popcorn

Semper Fi is Latin for “always faithful” and it is the motto of the United States Marine Corps— faithful to God, Country, Family and the Corps. The Urban Dictionary says it wasn’t always this way. Up until 1871, the motto was “First to fight”—a motto that still applies.

Every U.S. Marine knows that Semper Fi is the universal Marine greeting.

Recently I had a reason to explain this motto to my wife when she asked me if I wanted her to share something from me to General John R. Allen when she attended The Daily Beast’s Hero Summit on October 10—my wife was invited to be on the same panel at the summit with General Allen; David Brooks, the columnist for the New York Times who has written so often about moral standards and imperatives, and Nigerian novelist and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka.

I said to my wife, “Say two words to General Allen, Semper Fi.”

“What does that mean?” she asked. “What if he doesn’t know what it means?”

“It’s Latin for always faithful,” I replied. “And trust me, General Allen will know what those two words means. If you look at the Marine Corps emblem, you will see it on a flag flying above the American Eagle.”

As for popcorn, I couldn’t resist adding popcorn to this post because right before I sat down to write, my wife made some in the microwave and then went to see a movie at the local theater. I stayed to write this post.

The smell of fresh-popped corn filled the house and I couldn’t resist filling my own bowl with this American treat. Believe me when I say that popcorn is as American as the flag, mom and apple pie, because the History of Popcorn clearly establishes that it originated in the Americas. And the popularity of popcorn as we eat it today started in Iowa in the 1880s.

I made my bowl with two scoops of Orville Redenbacher’s gourmet popping corn poured in a lunch-sized paper bag; two minutes on high in the microwave; a dash of California Branch Garlic Oil made with Extra Virgin Olive Oil; a second dash of 100% Pure Chosen Foods Avocado Oil, and a third dash of Himalayan Pink Salt, referred to as the purest salt in the world. Then I started eating as I wrote this post about Semper Fi.  [Note: all the ingredients for the popcorn came from Costco, an American company.]

The United States Marine Corps celebrates its birthday on November 10 because on that day, a decree of the Second Continental Congress led to the Marine Corps first official recruiting drive in the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania—some argue that the recruiting may have started unofficially before November 10, 1775.

I wonder what kind of beer the first Marines in 1775 drank at the Tun Tavern.

Did you know there is a Founding Fathers Lager Beer listed along with forty-nine other brands that made the list of The 50 Most Patriotic Beers in America?

Too bad the best beer I have ever sipped, St. Bernardus Abt 12 [a product of Belgium], doesn’t qualify.

I guess I should have called this post, Simper Fi, Popcorn and Beer. After all, a cold beer goes great with salty snacks, and I drank my first beer when I was still on active duty in the U.S. Marines back in the 1960s during a brief stay in Okinawa before shipping out to fight in Vietnam.

Do you think a chilled-bottle of beer and a salty-bowl of popcorn would be a good way to celebrate the Marine Corps birthday?


Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran.

His latest novel is the award winning suspense-thriller Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was fighting for the other side.

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