Congress Honors Montford Point Marines

Speaker Boehner

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Montford Point Marines

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Edwin J. Fizer with his daughter Cheryl Fizer

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Ambassador Theodore Britton

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Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins

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Rev. William Raymond Worlsey and his daughter Marie

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Calvin Jones and his grandson Glenn

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Montford Point Marine at the ceremony

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They fought on two fronts: as Marines in World War II and as segregated blacks in the U.S. military. Decades after the Montford Point Marines courageously served their country, they were honored during a Congressional Gold Medal ceremony led by Speaker of the House John Boehner at the U.S. Capitol on June 27, 2012.

Nearly 20,000 African Americans trained at the Montford Point camp near Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. They were the first African-Americans to serve as Marines. After training they fought in places like Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  Their exceptional service distinguished them and created a legacy that forever changed the U.S. Marine Corps.

“They not only helped defeat tyranny overseas; they thoroughly discredited a poisonous philosophy deeply held and long defended by elites here at home,” noted Speaker Boehner, who said he was humbled in the presence of those being honored.

Montford Point Marine William McDowell, who accepted the medal on behalf of those honored, said “this is a proud moment.” The Rev. William Raymond Worsley said he was so happy he didn’t know how to express himself.