Roots Running Back to Belleau Wood
One hundred years ago at the Battle of Belleau Wood in France, Mary Wright Baylor’s Great Uncle, Marine Corps Corporal Richard Rose, lost his life in service to his country. Mary attended the Belleau Wood 8K to honor Richard and to cheer on her friend and fellow nurse, Kate Edwards, who ran the event in remembrance.
Along with her sister and niece, Kate formed a group to run for Mary’s fallen Great Uncle. The group ran with tenacity and perseverance as Marie Marshall, her niece, placed first and Kate placed second in their respective age groups.
Richard was wounded in battle and died on June 24, 1918 at the age of 24. Not only has Richard’s memory been honored at the Belleau Wood 8K, but at his alma mater, Princeton University, where the Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship, Richard Wigley Perrott Rose Memorial Scholarship, is available to students today in his honor.
Mary and the group of runners were greeted at the Belleau Wood 8K by MCM Director, Rick Nealis, MCINCR MCBQ Commander, Colonel Joseph Murray and MCBQ Sergeant Major Michael Hensley. Together, all parties honored Richard’s memory and his story was shared with the crowd. “When I got to the event with Kate, her fellow runners and everybody else, I thought he might have lost his life but he did not die in vain,” shared Mary on her Belleau Wood 8K experience. “It was a celebration of his life and one of the most patriotic things you could witness.”
As Kate, her sister, Cecilia Marshall, and Marie were about to cross the finish line, they grabbed Mary out of the cheering crowd to finish the event together in solidarity. With congratulatory flowers, Mary crossed the finish line hand in hand with her friend, Kate.
Attending the event together was something they will never forget. Kate shared that after the group completed the event, “The young Marines treated us like he (Richard) died that day. I was overwhelmed and the Marines were a class act. Semper Fidelis really does mean always faithful, always loyal and that you will always remember. It meant a lot.”
Mary has read about Richard between the pages of history books, and now has added her own story. “It was one of the highlights of my year, if not my life. It was remarkable.”