Charleston Marine honored with the highest civilian award in US
CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - As Veterans Day approaches, this weekend a Charleston U.S. Marine will be honored with a Congressional Gold Medal.
This honor is bestowed by Congress as the highest civilian award in the United States and was given to a unit who were once not allowed to defend their own country.
The National Montfort Point Marines were the first African Americans to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps.
The recruits trained at Camp Montfort Point in Jacksonville, North Carolina from August 1942 until the camp was decommissioned on September 9, 1949.
This award recognizes Montfort Point Marines’ contributions to the Marine Corps and the United States during a time of hardship and segregation.
Nearly 20,000 marines were trained at Montfort Point and every aspect of their training was segregated from their white counterparts.
Officials from the chapter say while in service, they were housed in prefabricated huts and railroad tracks separated white residents from the training camp.
The National Montfort Point Marine Association Chapter 47 will present Marine Walter Harper Jr. with the Congressional Gold Medal at this weekend’s banquet to honor his service and gratitude.
Ticket sales have already ended for this event but to learn more about the MPMA Charleston Chapter click here.
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