MONTPELIER STATION, Va. (March 16) --
Col. David Maxwell, Marine Corps Base Quantico base commander, was designated as President Barack Obamas' representative for the official wreath-laying ceremony March 16 in honor of the 262nd anniversary of former president James Madison's birth. Madison, the fourth president of the United States, is known as the Father of the Constitution, because of his pivotal role in the document's drafting.
“Madison was only 25 when he played his role in framing the Virginia Constitution,” said Maxwell as he spoke to guests at the ceremony. “The average age in the Marine Corps is also 25, so we understand the impact that you can have on the world.”
Each year, on the anniversary of the birth of deceased U.S. presidents, wreaths are laid upon their final resting places to show respect for the critical position they’ve held.
“We are here today to honor a great man,” said Jonathan Alger, president of James Madison University. “Without Madison, who is to say where we would be today as a nation?” Alger went on to read Madison’s biography, outlining his contributions to a young United States of America such as the drafting of the Virginia constitution and service in the Continental Congress.
Madison, along with his part in the creation of the constitution, also drafted the crucial first 10 amendments – The Bill of Rights – which protect individual rights of America’s citizens to this day.
Although Madison believed that individual rights were fully protected by the constitution as it was ratified, he recognized that drafting a Bill of Rights was imperative to the growing nation.
Quantico provided support to the event in the form of photo and video documentation, a state-of-the-art speaker system, the presence of the base Color Guard and base Honor Guard as well as an ensemble from the Quantico Marine Band.
With the wreath laying at Madison’s monument, Quantico Marines showed that, regardless of time and place, Marines are always faithful.