The Penn-York Detachment of the Marine Corps League held its annual celebration Saturday to honor the anniversary of the corps' formation.

Birthday balloons, streamers and a cake decorated the Towanda VFW hall and traditional military songs filled the room as about 50 people, including detachment members and their guests, enjoyed dinner and celebrated the Marine Corps' 237th birthday.

The Second Continental Congress originally established the Marine Corps on Nov. 10, 1775. Marines across the nation celebrate the occasion with a cake-cutting ceremony and birthday ball. The Penn-York Detachment has honored the day at the VFW since the 1970s.

Traditionally, the oldest Marine present receives the first slice of the cake, and the youngest gets the second slice. The tradition symbolizes the passing of Marine traditions from old members to new.

The oldest member, Carl Rehfeldt, and the youngest, master sergeant Jim Seymour, both cut the cake Saturday with an officer's sword.

Member Roy Schrimp also read a message from the Marine Corps' commandant, Gen. James F. Amos. The commandant writes a note each year to remind Marines of their legacy and wish the corps a happy birthday, Schrimp said.

The Penn-York Detachment usually swears in officers during the celebration as well, but members said a state officer will instead swear them in next week.

Amanda Renko can be reached at (570) 888-9652; or email: