Pershing's assignment was to prevent the Germans from reaching Paris. This led to a major battle at Belleau which was about 30 miles away from the city. The Germans were pounding away and the French were willing to give up ground (a.k.a. retreat), while at the same time our Marines were arriving. The officer in charge of the French soldiers told the Marines they should move back with them and the leader of the brigade said something that has lived on in Marine history and became one of their battle cries and it was: "Retreat, we just got here!" In the same battle First Sergeant Dan Daly yelled while they were running towards the Germans: "Come on you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?!"
Even though the Germans had the upper-hand, the Marines tore into them. About three weeks later a radio message from the Marines arrived at headquarters and it was: "Woods now entirely U.S. Marine Corp."
We usually hear about Normandy and how much the French appreciate what we did, but there were many battles where U.S. troops saved the day and earned a tremendous amount of respect from military forces around the world.
It was WWI that defined the Marines. Their determination, discipline, sacrifice, unselfishness, and fighting skills, should make all American's proud. Oorah!
By the way, my brother, a Marine, said they really appreciated the ride the Navy (the branch I served in), would give them as we dropped them off on the beach to fight. That's right, he is a mean brother. :)