Photo Information

NEW YORK -- Members of the local Marine Corps League salute the casket of the formerly oldest living female Marine, Miriam Cohen, as she is brought to grave site her, Nov. 17, in Cypress Hills National Cemetery. The 101-year-old Cohen enlisted in the Marine Corps during World War II and again during the Korean War. She was the oldest female enlistee of her time at 35 years old and was part of the first female Marine recruit class. (Official Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Randall A. Clinton)

Photo by Sgt. Randall A. Clinton

Oldest female Marine laid to rest in New York

17 Nov 2009 | Sgt. Randall A. Clinton

The oldest living female Marine died on Veterans Day and was buried today in the Cypress Hills National Cemetery.

Miriam Cohen was one of the oldest females to enlist in 1943, at 35 years old, said Debra Allee, the 101-year-old's niece. Cohen answered her nations calling twice, serving during World War II and the Korean War. 

Cohen, a graduate of the Girls High School in Brooklyn (since renamed to Boys & Girls High School), moved to Tuscan, Ariz., when she was 92.

During their eulogy, her friends and family remembered Cohen's energetic life and attachment to the Marines.

Rabbi Deborah Hirsch told the story of the five-foot, elderly Cohen pushing wheel chairs around the veteran's clinics after she moved to Tucson, Ariz, well into her 90s Cohen continued working with veterans throughout her life, and in that her loved ones found meaning in the timing of her passing.

"She died on Veteran's Day, that makes that day an even more sacred moment," said Hirsch.

Allee said Cohen was a vanguard for women service members. Cohen was one of the first females to serve in a command post, along with being in the first group of female Marine enlistees. 

One of the proudest moments of Cohen's later life was her appearance as the grand marshal for the local Tucson, Ariz., Veteran's Day parade in 2006, said Dennis Mincieli, Allee's husband.

Apart from the friends and family gathered for the small grave-side ceremony, a group of local Marine Corps League and Women Marine Association members came to pay their respects and salute a fellow Marine laid to rest. 

Marine Corps News
Communication Directorate