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The U.S. Senate approved legislation this past Wednesday to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Montford Point Marines, a long overdue recognition to the first Blacks to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina led the effort to get this bill passed.

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It is the highest civilian award bestowed by Congress just in time for the Marine Corps’ 236th anniversary today and Veterans Day.

“The Montford Point Marines are finally receiving the recognition they deserve,” Hagan said in a prepared statement given to The Root. “These men, who were based out of North Carolina in WWII, served our country with courage and dedication, even in the face of discrimination and intolerance. There is no better way to celebrate the Marine Corps’ birthday and Veterans Day than by honoring these men for their service and sacrifice and granting them the recognition that is 50 years overdue.”

Read more at TheRoot