Admitted to the Marine Corps after President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered all branches of the armed forces to accept blacks, the Mondford Point Marines endured untold hardships as they trained in the segregated North Carolina facility
"The Montford Point Marines are finally receiving the recognition they deserve," Sen. Kay R. Hagan (D-N.C.), who led the bipartisan effort to pass the measure. "These men, who were based out of North Carolina in WWII, served our country with courage and dedication, even in the face of discrimination and intolerance. There is no better way to celebrate the Marine Corps' birthday and Veterans Day than by honoring these men for their service and sacrifice and granting them the recognition that is 50 years overdue.
Today, Wednesday, June 27th, the first African American Marines, known as the Montford Point Marines, received the Congressional Gold Medal.
More than 19,000 black Marines trained at Montford Point Camp, a facility set up exclusively for blacks during World War II after President Franklin Roosevelt desegregated the Marine Corps. About 13,000 of them served overseas during the war.
Over the years, the vast majority of the men have passed away. Those who survived have grown old and gray.
Today, 63 years after the camp they trained at closed its doors, 368 surviving Montford Point Marines were finally recognized by Congress with the nation’s highest civilian honor, the congressional gold medal.
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