Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Well deserved, Semper fi
"This is something we didn't think we'd see in our lifetime," said 1st Sgt. William McDowell, as he received the medals on behalf of the group. He started to cry, remembering those pioneering Marines, who are no longer alive to receive this honor. He then caught himself and laughed, "My commander would have said "suck it up, Marine."
Seventy years ago when these black Marines enlisted, there were still Jim Crow laws in the South. It was 1942 and the height of World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt had ordered the military to enlist blacks the year before. The Marines were the last service to do so.