- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (AP) - Six Montford Point Marines have been honored in a ceremony at Camp Johnson near Jacksonville.

Multiple media outlets reported that about 100 people attended the ceremony Thursday where six Congressional Gold Medals were awarded to former Montford Point Marines and family members.

Those who trained at what is now Camp Johnson were the first African-Americans to join the Marine Corps.

Lt. Col. David Jones, commanding officer of Marine Corps Combat Service Support Schools Camp Johnson, spoke at the ceremony.

“To see the integration: there are African Americans, Whites, Asians, Hispanics, people from all walks of life and even other countries that desire to serve the United States and desire to be a United States Marine,” Jones said of those who first trained at Montford Point. “I know it warms their hearts and makes them sure of what they fought for so long ago.”

Montford Point Camp was set up in 1942 to train all black Marines. About 20,000 Marines attended training at the camp. President harry Truman ended segregation in the military in 1949.

Congress designated Aug. 26 as Montford Point Marine Day. The first Marines reported for training on Aug. 26, 1942.

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