House and Senate leaders awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to honor the service of the Montford Point Marines in a ceremony Wednesday on Capitol Hill.
The Montford Point Marines were the first African-Americans to serve in the U.S. Marine Corps. They received basic training at Montford Point Camp, New River, N.C. between 1942 and 1949.
According to the Montford Point Marine Association, there are over 400 surviving members.
House Speaker John Boehner, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority and Minority Leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell made remarks, among others.
The Gold Medal represents Congress’s highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions.