Ladies and Gentlemen, lend me your ears or rather eyes for a moment. For today is a very important day in American History which is tragically overlooked in most history classes.
On October 31st, 1803 the USS Philadelphia ran a ground on an uncharted reef in Tripoli Harbor. From 1801 to 1805 the United States was at war with Tripoli at the time which was part of the Barbary states, an alliance of pirate nations so brutal most European powers had given up on trying to subdue them and just paid them protection money. President Thomas Jefferson said screw that and sent the US Navy to put the Corsairs in their place. The Philadelphia was captured by the Corsairs and its crew held hostage. The Corsairs turned the Philadelphia into a gun battery and used it to keep back the blockading American, Swedish, and Naples fleets.
Lieutenant Stephen Decatur Jr, decided that this was BS and on the night of 16 February 1804 lead a detachment of US Marines in capture enemy ship they had rechristened the US Intrepid in a daring mission. They deceived the Corsairs aboard the Philadelphia and managed to board the ship. There the marines unleashed eight different shades of ass kicking on the pirates and recaptured the ship. Unable to move it from its position due to still being stuck on a reef Decatur set fire to the ship and escaped with his men.
Almost over night Decatur and his marines were heroes not only in the United States but in Europe as well. Admiral Horatio Nelson, professional British badass who enjoyed sun shine, long walks on the beach, the sound of cannon fire, and royally screwing over superior numbering French fleets with his insane tactics praised the raid as "the most bold and daring act of the age." Pope Pius VII said "The United States, though in their infancy, have done more to humble the anti-Christian barbarians on the African coast than all the European states has done..."
So folks on this day, I ask that you give a nod of respect to a conflict that is these days only remember for the most part in a single line of the Marine Corps Hymn. American, kicking pirate asses since 1801.