Sailors, Marines, and family members celebrated the U. S. Navy’s 243rd birthday with lunch at the mess hall aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Oct. 17.

A birthday cake is displayed during a celebration of the U.S. Navy’s 243rd birthday aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Oct. 17. During the celebration, Sailors, Marines and civilians honored the history and traditions of the Navy while bonding over.

The event served as an opportunity for the installation to honor the history of the Navy and for service members as well as civilians and veterans to share a meal together.

Guests were treated to a varied menu of everything from grilled steak and lobster tail to a homemade Navy themed birthday cake.

“I’ve enjoyed my time in the Navy so far,” said Seaman Apprentice Sunny Li, a religious program specialist with Marine Aircraft Group 31. “This meal is not only a great way to celebrate the history and traditions of the Navy, but is also great for strengthening the bond between us and the Marines on base.”

According to history.navy.mil, On Friday, Oct. 13, 1775, the Continental Congress voted to fit out two sailing vessels, armed and manned by crews of 80 and to send them out for three months to intercept transports carrying munitions to the British army in America. This was the original framework of which the Continental Navy grew and as such constitutes the birth of the Navy.

“I’ve never once been disappointed by a birthday meal in my 11 years in the Navy,” said Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Brendan Henthorne, a corpsman with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 251. “I am very thankful and humbled every day for the opportunity to serve in this great organization and to serve our country. This day helps to put in perspective of what those who came before me to preserve our traditions and allowed me to serve as well.”

Lance Cpl. Christian Lozano (left) and RSPN Sunny Li pose for a picture during the Navy’s birthday celebration aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort Oct. 17. Li is a religious program specialist with Marine Aircraft Group 31 and Lozano is a supply clerk with Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort.

According to Navy.mil, the theme for the Navy’s 243rd birthday is “Forged by the Sea.” The motto represents the aspirational outcome of every Sailor’s journey in uniform and that every Sailor is shaped and strengthened into a more capable version of themselves through naval service.

“The theme this year means a lot to me personally,” said Henthorne. “There is no telling where I would be if I hadn’t joined the Navy. It has given me everything that I could ever ask for and more. I hope I am lucky enough to enjoy the camaraderie and fellowship of this organization for many more years to come.”