First Black Marines Recognized 70 Years Later

Today, Congress celebrated a group of men whose sacrifices were long overlooked. President Roosevelt started to crack the color barrier in 1942, when he ordered the Marine Corps to accept African Americans. They could serve, but in black only units. It took until 1948 for President Truman to desegregate the Armed Forces.

Richard Simon reports,The Montford Point Marines, (first African Americans to serve in the Corp) named after the segregated North Carolina camp where they trained, and their surviving family members received the nation’s highest civilian honor during an emotional ceremony in the Capitol visitor center’s Emancipation Hall,”on June 27,2012.

The Montford Point Marines, received a bronze copy of the Congressional Gold Medal for their service in WWII. Despite discrimination, these brave men were willing to fight for their country. William McDowell representing the Montford Point Marines said, “I don’t think we imagined that anything like this would ever happen in our lifetime.” 

In an article by Byron Pitts, ninety-year-old James “Rudy” Carter,19 years old when he enlisted said,” I joined the Marine Corps because this would give me the chance to become an American – a full-fledged citizen.” Thank you Montford Point Marines for your service and showing us what love of our country is all about.

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