- Sen. Rand Paul: ‘I am seriously thinking about’ running for president in 2016
- Sleet, ice, deepfreeze hit large swath of U.S.
- ‘Welcome to the edge of freedom’: Biden’s boots touch down in DMZ
- Obama: Hole U.S. ‘digging out of’ requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
Congress honors first unit of black Marines in WWII
4 veterans in House for vote
The nation’s first black Marines received a rare national tribute Tuesday as the House voted to award the Montford Point Marines with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor given by Congress.
History books and Hollywood have chronicled the Army’s Buffalo Soldiers and the ArmyAir Corps‘ Tuskegee Airmen, but the men who integrated the Marine Corps during World War II often have been forgotten. That is starting to change, beginning with the House’s 422-0 vote.
The black Marines received their basic training adjacent to Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where conditions were harsh and the treatment from their fellow Marines could be even harsher. The black Marines were not allowed to enter Camp Lejeune unless accompanied by a white officer. In the few times they participated in training exercises, they could not eat until the white Marines had finished. They were routinely passed over for promotions.
“People forget they were fighting two wars both foreign and domestic,” Rep. Sanford Bishop, Georgia Democrat, said.
More than 300 lawmakers were co-sponsors of the legislation, providing Republicans and Democrats with a rare moment of bipartisanship. Lawmakers from both parties spoke in favor of the resolution, which was sponsored by Rep. Corrine Brown, Florida Democrat.
Rep. Brad Miller, North Carolina Democrat, noted that the Montford Point Marines were presumed unsuited for combat and not allowed to fight alongside their white counterparts until the Korean War. Still, they underwent intense fire in their supporting roles in the Pacific during World War II, serving at Okinawa and Iwo Jima.
“They served with great valor and distinction and loved their country more than their country loved them at the time,” Mr. Miller said.
Rep. Walter Jones, North Carolina Republican, said he hoped that the awarding of the Congressional Gold Medal would “soothe the pain of yesterday with the glory of today.”
About 19,000 men trained at Montford Point from 1942 to 1949. Most have since died. Eugene Groves, a staff sergeant who fought in Korea, was one of four Montford Point veterans on hand for the vote Tuesday. The lawmakers gave the four a standing ovation shortly before the vote.
Commandant Gen. James Amos has made it a priority to honor the group and ensure that their history is taught to all Marines.
Mr. Groves, who trained at Montford Point in 1946, said he appreciated the recognition. He served in the Korean War and said he felt for a time like the Marine Corps did not want to acknowledge his unit’s service.
“They did not want us involved in the history,” Mr. Groves said. “It’s been a hard fight.”
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- PRUDEN: British press horrified as London's new mayor dares to proclaim the truth
- Snow storm sucker punch: U.S. hit by winter wave
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Dick Cheney: Family feud over gay marriage has been 'dealt with'
- Craigslist killers: Police say newlyweds stabbed man for thrills
- Obama tries to calm Israeli fears over Iranian nuke deal 'not based on trust'
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Opinion, analysis, and musings on politics, pop culture, reinvention, and the resultant flotsam and jetsam floating around the right-of-center quadrant of the Left Coast.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!