It’s wonderful to be here to join all of you on the dedication of this Medal of Honor Theater for the Marine Corps Museum.
It’s also an opportunity to celebrate the premiere of the film, “We, The Marines.”
On behalf of the men and women of Lockheed Martin as well as Bob Stevens, my predecessor who’s here with us tonight, we congratulate you on the expansion of the museum.
It is phenomenal to see not only this theater, but all of the expansion that’s happening. This theater is a major milestone, and I think sets the museum up for many years, so people can better understand and support the Marine Corps.
As we think about the Marine Corps and how important they are to our nation, we recognize that this is a special place where people can come to spend time and see that before there was an Independence Hall, there was a Tun Tavern; before there was a Constitutional Convention, there were Continental Marines.
Visitors learn this history through the process of spending time at the museum, and as General [Mark A. Brilakis] said, it will be important to the Marines – present and future – to have an opportunity to spend time here, too.
So that’s why we’re here tonight. This is an opportunity for us to celebrate and to recognize this major expansion. It is also about a shared commitment to the vision of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation – to communicate the courage, the spirit, and the strength that the Marine Corps has brought to our nation.
There is an Army general from World War I who made a very important point.
He said, “There’s only two kinds of people that understand the Marines: the Marines and the enemy. Everyone else just has a secondhand opinion.”
The mission of the museum and the foundation is to help people to better understand the Marines and what they bring in terms of their courage and their spirit – not only what they’ve done for the nation in the past, but how they’ve reshaped the future.
From Lockheed Martin’s standpoint, we’ve been honored and privileged to partner with the Marine Corps for many, many years – providing them with technologies and capabilities to help them meet their needs.
Having a museum like this where others can understand how important those needs are and how Americans can provide more support for the Marine Corps is critically important.
As we look forward in the 21st century with all the threats and challenges that we face, we’re going to be relying on the Marine Corps to continue to be that premier expeditionary force around the world. And we want to make sure they have all that they need to do that.
So again, on behalf of Lockheed Martin, it’s such an honor to be here tonight to celebrate this.
And I would also say, on behalf of every American, we thank the Marine Corps, past and present, for all that you’ve done – for your strength, your bravery, and your fidelity in service to our nation. Thank you.
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