Black Marines' Award Short on US Senate Support

Only 32 senators back the bill, which would award the Montford Point Marines the Congressional Gold Medal.

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U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (Getty Images)

The Charlotte Post is reporting that a bill that would grant a congressional award to the first black Marines has not garnered enough votes in the U.S. Senate. And proponents are scrambling to find enough votes by Nov. 10 for the 236th anniversary of the Marine Corps.

The House of Representatives [voted] last month to bestow the Congressional Gold Medal on the Montford Point Marines, who trained near Jacksonville, N.C., from 1942-49, but the Senate bill doesn't have the 67 cosponsors needed to bring it to the floor for a vote. Thirty-two senators support the measure.

"This legislation is 50 years overdue," said Sen. Kay R. Hagan (D-N.C.), a cosponsor of the bill along with Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Patrick Roberts (R-Kansas) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). "The Montford Point Marines, based out of North Carolina, have waited too long already for recognition they deserve for their service and sacrifice. The courage and dedication with which these brave men served our country despite discrimination and intolerance is nothing less than heroic."

As Veteran's Day swiftly approaches, hopefully congressional leaders will turn their attention to this important matter. The senators are right. There would be no better way to honor these men than to pass this measure. "They put their lives at risk for their country while challenging racism and segregation, and their bravery is a testament to the valor of the Marine Corps as a whole," Sen. Blumental said in a statement.

Read more at the Charlotte Post.

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