521 Dirksen Senate Office Building
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Hagan Honors Original Montford Point Marines; Is Inducted into the Hall of Fame
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Jacksonville, NC - U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan today honored the original Montford Point Marines during the 47th Annual National Montford Point Marine Association Convention at Camp Lejeune. Hagan, who led the successful Senate effort to award the Montford Point Marines with the Congressional Gold Medal, was inducted into the Montford Point Marine Association Hall of Fame.
"This has been an historic year for the Montford Point Marines," Hagan said. "And one of the greatest honors of my career was working to ensure these courageous veterans received the recognition they deserve. The Montford Point Marines served during a time when their sacrifices were enormous, but not yet appreciated. In the face of intolerance and discrimination, these Marines served with honor and distinction. It is a true privilege for me to join such a distinguished and extraordinary group of individuals in the Montford Point Marine Hall of Fame."
Nearly 20,000 Montford Point Marines trained at segregated Camp Montford Point, near Jacksonville, North Carolina between 1942 and 1949. African Americans were integrated into the armed forces in 1941 as a result of an executive order signed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The executive order, which established the Fair Employment Practices Commission, stated that "there shall be no discrimination in the employment of workers in defense industries or government because of race, creed, color, or national origin." Montford Point Marines participated in the Pacific Theatre Campaign of World War II, and many went on to serve in Korea and Vietnam.