Congressional Gold Medals To Be Awarded In Charlotte To Montford Point Marines

Ceremony Honors the Memory of Five of the First African Americans to Enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps and Charlotte's Connections to this Historic Group
By: Montford Point Marines
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Jan. 26, 2022 - PRLog -- Congressional Gold Medals will be posthumously awarded to the families of five original Montford Point Marines on February 27 in Charlotte. The medals honor the legacy of the first African Americans who enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942. The Congressional Gold Medal is Congress' highest honor for distinguished achievements and contributions. These Marines will join the corps of distinguished past recipients that have included Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Jackie Robinson, and Winston Churchill.

Those to be honored at the ceremony are Cpl. James Elijah of Connor, Cpl. Robert Givens of  Salisbury, and Cpl. Raymond Smith, PFC Raymond Davis and Cpl. Darling Quashie, all of Charlotte. Families of the Marines will be at the ceremony, which will take place on Sunday February 27, from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Omega House of Charlotte. The speaker for the event is Walter E. Gaskin Sr., USMC LtGen (Ret) and Secretary for the North Carolina Department of Military & Veterans Affairs. Numerous other Charlotte and regional governmental officials are expected to attend.

"This is a tremendous moment to recognize these men, the families who sacrificed so much for their service, and to celebrate how far we have come," notes Craig Little, President of The National Montford Point Marine Association, Inc. Chapter #40.

Montford Point is the North Carolina Marine base where African-American enlistees trained because they weren't allowed to congregate with their white counterparts. The first African American Marine to arrive at Montford Point in 1942 was Charlotte native Howard Perry. He was joined by many other Charlotteans who were among the initial recruits who trained at Camp Montford Point near Jacksonville and contributed to the Allied victory in World War II.

The Montford Point Marines were the first African-Americans to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps after President Franklin Roosevelt issued an Executive Order establishing the Fair Employment Practices Commission in June 1941. On October 23, 2011, then-President Barack Obama signed a law awarding all Montford Point Marines the Congressional Gold Medal.

The non-profit Montford Point Marine Association, Inc. is a national organization established to preserve the legacy of these brave men and women. Charlotte Chapter #40 is active in our local community, striving to give back to the next generation as they preserve the legacy of the last.

Media Note: The Congressional Medal Presentation will take place on Sunday February 27, from 5 – 8 p.m. at the Omega House of Charlotte, 3301 Statesville Ave, Charlotte, NC 28206. Media are welcome to attend.

More information on the national organization can be found at:

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