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Marine Corps Base Quantico

"Crossroads of the Marine Corps"

Marines honor father of constitution

By Cpl. Paris Capers | | March 25, 2014

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The Marine Corps Base Quantico Color Guard stands at ease during the proceedings of the James Madison wreath laying ceremony on March 16, 2014. Each year, wreaths are laid at the final resting places of former United States Presidents across the nation.

The Marine Corps Base Quantico Color Guard stands at ease during the proceedings of the James Madison wreath laying ceremony on March 16, 2014. Each year, wreaths are laid at the final resting places of former United States Presidents across the nation. (Photo by Cpl. Paris Capers)


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Col. David Maxwell, Marine Corps Base Quantico base commander, carries a presidential wreath to the resting place of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States of America. Maxwell was selected by President Barack Obama to present the wreath at Madison's obelisk as part of a tradition of honoring all former commanders-in-chief.

Col. David Maxwell, Marine Corps Base Quantico base commander, carries a presidential wreath to the resting place of James Madison, the fourth president of the United States of America. Maxwell was selected by President Barack Obama to present the wreath at Madison's obelisk as part of a tradition of honoring all former commanders-in-chief. (Photo by Cpl. Paris Capers)


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Cpl. Lloyd Boyde, a rifle bearer with Marine Corps Base Quantico's Ceremonial Platoon, clutches his rifle at the position of attention before executing right shoulder-arms at the James Madison wreath laying ceremony at Montpellier Station March 16, 2014. Each year across the country Marines participate in laying wreaths on former president's gravesites in honor of the position they've held.

Cpl. Lloyd Boyde, a rifle bearer with Marine Corps Base Quantico's Ceremonial Platoon, clutches his rifle at the position of attention before executing right shoulder-arms at the James Madison wreath laying ceremony at Montpellier Station March 16, 2014. Each year across the country Marines participate in laying wreaths on former president's gravesites in honor of the position they've held. (Photo by Cpl. Paris Capers)


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Sgt. Maj. Mark Byrd, right, and Col. David Maxwell, each render a salute at the grave of former president James Madison after placing a presidential wreath in his honor on March 16, 2014. Maxwell, Marine Corps Base Quantico's base commander, was selected as President Barack Obama's surrogate to lay the wreath in his stead.

Sgt. Maj. Mark Byrd, right, and Col. David Maxwell, each render a salute at the grave of former president James Madison after placing a presidential wreath in his honor on March 16, 2014. Maxwell, Marine Corps Base Quantico's base commander, was selected as President Barack Obama's surrogate to lay the wreath in his stead. (Photo by Cpl. Paris Capers)


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The Marine Corps Base Quantico Color Guard stands at ease beside a presidential wreath presented by Col. David Maxwell, Marine Corps Base Quantico base commander, on behalf of President Barack Obama on March 16, 2014. Each year, wreaths are laid at the final resting places of former United States Presidents across the nation.

The Marine Corps Base Quantico Color Guard stands at ease beside a presidential wreath presented by Col. David Maxwell, Marine Corps Base Quantico base commander, on behalf of President Barack Obama on March 16, 2014. Each year, wreaths are laid at the final resting places of former United States Presidents across the nation. (Photo by Cpl. Paris Capers)


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The Marine Corps Base Quantico Color Guard marches off the colors at the James Madison wreath laying ceremony at Montpellier Station on March 16, 2014. Each year, wreaths are laid at the final resting places of former United States Presidents across the nation.

The Marine Corps Base Quantico Color Guard marches off the colors at the James Madison wreath laying ceremony at Montpellier Station on March 16, 2014. Each year, wreaths are laid at the final resting places of former United States Presidents across the nation. (Photo by Cpl. Paris Capers)


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MONTPELLIER STATION, Va. --

In honor of the 263rd anniversary of former United States President James Madison's birth, Col. David Maxwell, Marine Corps Base Quantico base commander, was designated as President Barack Obamas' representative for the official wreath-laying ceremony March 16, 2014. 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.

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 to think like men of action and act like men of thought,” said Maxwell, quoting retired Gen. James Mattis, as he spoke to guests at the ceremony. “These words are certainly true of Madison, as he constantly made sure he was properly educated, but actively pursued what he thought was best for the country.”

Active citizenship is what Madison encouraged from the people of a young America, according to Maxwell, much like the Marine Corps encourages those who leave its ranks to be better people than when they entered.

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.

“James Madison served the commonwealth and his nation as advisor to the president, and then as president himself,” said Peter Broadbent Jr., a member of the Virginia War of 1812 bicentennial commission and vice-chair of the library board of Virginia, before he presented a proclamation from Terrance McAuliffe, the governor of the commonwealth of Virginia, declaring March 16 to be James Madison Appreciation day. “It is only right we pay respects to his sacrifices.”

With another wreath laid in freedom’s name, Marines continue to guard the honor of president’s past, present and future.

Correspondent: Paris.Capers@usmc.mil



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