Chairman Cleaver’s Statement in Recognition of Veterans Day

For Immediate Release: November 11, 2011

Washington, DC – Today, Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II released the following statement in recognition of Veterans Day:

“Today we honor and recognize the men and women in the armed services who have sacrificed their lives and wellbeing for the betterment of our nation. As Americans, we are indebted to them for their immeasurable service, and we honor and applaud their bravery, while reflecting on their sacrifices.

“I am pleased that as we celebrate this Veterans Day, we also celebrate the Montford Port Marines, our nation’s first black Marine unit. Last week, the House voted to award the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation’s highest civilian honor to the Montford Point Marines, nearly 70 years after the Marine Corps became the last military branch to allow the participation of African Americans under orders from President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941.

“About 20,000 Marines, trained in a segregated facility called Montford Point that operated at Camp Lejeune, NC, from 1942 to 1949, fought in World War II and returned home to a country where they were not considered equal.  I marvel at how far we have come.

“Today, I join the nation in thanking the Montford Point Marines and the millions of men and women across our country who have answered the call to serve. Our soldiers continue to risk their lives to protect and preserve our children’s freedom to pursue and achieve the American Dream.”

Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II

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