GOLDEN, Colo. (KDVR) — The Marine Corps Memorial Foundation is preparing for its Veterans Day ceremony tomorrow alongside celebrating the Corps’ birthday.

Friday marks 248 years of Marine Corps service. It’s a yearly reminder of the brave spirits of those who have defended the nation for more than two centuries.

Paula Sarlls is the Marine Corps Memorial Foundation president and a Marine veteran herself.

“I was in the Marine Corps from 1967 to 1971 and the world was a very different place then, there were 2,500 women in the corps and the men did not want us there, it was a time when women were fighting for equal rights and it wasn’t easy, I’ll say that,” said Sarlls. “I always say my husband was in Vietnam fighting one war and I was here fighting another.”

Now she dedicates her life to fellow veterans and their memory. The memorial sits on the edge of 6th and Colfax Avenues in Golden. The Marine Corps Memorial Foundation’s mission is to honor marines and all who serve.

“People serve so we can be free and people died so we can be free and that’s worth celebrating,” Sarlls said.

Saturday afternoon the group will celebrate fellow veterans at the memorial.

“We’ll have a ceremony where we have the colors presented with bagpipers and the anthem and a flyover by the Rocky Mountain Renegades.”

The Veterans Day celebration will start at 2 p.m. at the memorial. The group is also collecting Toys for Tots in support of the Marine Corps Reserves program to help children enjoy Christmas. The boxes will be in place from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for toy drop-off.

The memorial is also being prepared for a major remodel. More details about the renovation can be found here.