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House votes to honor Montford Point Marines with Congressional Gold Medal
WASHINGTON (AP) ' The House has voted to award the nation's first black Marine unit the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor given by Congress.
History books and Hollywood have chronicled the Army's Buffalo Soldiers and the Army Air Corps' Tuskegee Airmen, but the first Marines have often been overlooked. That is starting to change, beginning with the House vote.
The black Marines trained at Montford Point, N.C., between 1942 and 1949. Most have died now, but four veterans of the Marine unit were on hand for the vote Tuesday and received an ovation from lawmakers.
North Carolina Democratic Rep. Brad Miller said the Montford Point Marines were not often welcomed with open arms. He said they showed they loved their country more than their country loved them.