Families receive Congressional Gold Medal on Marines’ behalf

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -Families of the first Black Marines, known as Montford Point Marines, received the country’s highest honor on their behalf Saturday.

Mallorie Berger of Coral Springs, Florida received the Congressional Gold Medal on behalf of her grandfather, Maurice L. Burns.

Reginald Moore, a former combat veteran of 10 years living in New Bern, NC, accepted on behalf of his grandfather, Morris Ruffin.

The ceremony took place at Montford Point Marine Museum in Jacksonville at 1:00 p.m.

“The quest continues to locate more than 15,000 men who served as Montford Point Marines and have been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal,” said Susan Dosier on behalf of Visit Jacksonville NC. “These first black Marines trained separately from their white counterparts in harsh conditions and then fought valiantly alongside white Marines in World War II.”

With no official record of those who served from 1942 to 1949, the Montford Point Marine Association has sought to recognize and continue awarding the medals to the men who served but were not recognized.

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