ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Thursday was special for the United States Marine Corps as the branch celebrated its 243rd birthday.
Marines across the nation paused for a cake cutting ceremony, including cadets in Alexandria Senior High's JROTC program.
After the colors were posted, cadets processed to the front of the ceremony with a birthday cake.
The highest-ranking marine cut the cake with a saber and then gave a piece to the oldest marine to pass to the youngest marine in the battalion.
This symbolizes the passing of experience, honor and the heart of the corps to the next generation.
The school invited a former marine with 20 years of service to speak to cadets about this opportunity.
"It's funny to see the future of the Marine Corps in young faces," said Yolanda Davis- Begin. "I encouraged them to go to college. I think I found that a college degree from any university, that higher level of education, can take you very far. But, also try to impart upon them that they are learning things in the JROTC program that will take them through life."
After the ceremony, every cadet got in line for their own piece of birthday cake.