News: Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony to honor local Montford Point Marine
Story by Staff Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes
MIAMI— A Congressional Gold Medal ceremony will be held at the U.S. Southern Command’s Conference Center of the Americas September 14, 2012, in honor Mr. Paul Clark, a Montford Point Marine.
Mrs. Barbara Clark-Lindsey will accept the congressional award on behalf of her late father, who served his country as a U.S. Marine prior to the desegregation of the military.
The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor bestowed by congress for distinguished achievement. The President of the United States signed into law the legislation to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Montford Point Marines on November, 23 2011. This award recognizes the Montford Point Marines’ contributions to the Marine Corps and the wider American society.
The ceremony will begin at 12 p.m. National and local government representatives are expected to be in attendance. Members of the media are welcome to attend, but must coordinate with the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South, Public Affairs Office for access to the installation and credentials.
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 allowing African Americans to be recruited in the Marine Corps. African American recruits received basic training at Montford Point, outside Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Between 1942 and 1949 there were 19,168 African American recruits trained at Montford Point. Of those Marines, more than 13,000 served overseas during the World War II. Most were assigned to ammunition and Depot companies and brought ammunition and supplies to the front lines and returned wounded and dead to the transport ships.
The sacrifice of the Montford Point Marines paved the way for other minorities and all women to be integrated into the Marine Corps.
For more information regarding this ceremony or the Montford Point Marines, please contact the U.S. Marine Corps Forces, South, Public Affairs Officer, Staff Sgt. Earnest J. Barnes, firstname.lastname@example.org, Commercial 305-437-2554.