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Guests applaud a performer during the National Montford Point Association’s Congressional Gold Medal presentation hosted by Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, March 25. Several musicians and groups preformed tribute songs to honor the Jameson family who accepted the medal on behalf of the late Willis Jameson.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Ashley Phillips

MCAS Beaufort hosts Montford Point Marine Association ceremony

30 Mar 2017 | Lance Cpl. Ashley Phillips Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort

  Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort hosted the presentation ceremony of a Congressional Gold Medal to the family of a Montford Point Marine at the Lasseter theater aboard MCAS Beaufort, March 25. 

  The presentation ceremony was planned and organized by the National Montford Point Marine Association Beaufort Chapter 9. Col. Peter Buck, the commanding officer of MCAS Beaufort, presented the medal to the family of Willis Jameson, a Montford Point Marine; the award was presented posthumously. The Congressional Gold Medal is one of the highest awards given to civilian in the U.S. 

“Today we are here to honor a Marine and his family,” said Tyrone Jackson the President of the Beaufort chapter. “As a Montford Point chapter our goal is to promote and preserve the history and experiences of the first African American Marines to serve in the Marine Corps. This Congressional Gold Medal presentation is something that the Jameson family deserves to see.” 

  President Barrack Obama signed into law that all Marines of Montford point would be recognized for their contribution to the Marine Corps and United States with the Congressional Gold Medal. 

  “Several hundred Montford Point Marines attended a ceremony in the District of Columbia where President Barrack Obama presented them with their medals,” said Jackson. “But some were unable to attend for various reasons, so our chapter has tracked down several since then and held ceremonies. It’s important to give them their dues. You work hard in the Marine Corps and you’re going to be rewarded accordingly.” 

According to Jackson, 35th Commandant General James Amos was invited to attend the Montford Point Marine Association’s annual program. After receiving a respectful and welcome reception there he left, vowing to ensure the history of the Montford Point Marines was not forgotten and they were given the proper recognition. 

  “They answered our nation’s call despite our society being deeply divided along racial lines,” said Amos. “To me, they were heroic for two reasons: they fought against the enemy during World War II while they also fought for their civil rights and the respect of their fellow Americans.” 

  After Buck presented the Congressional Gold Medal to retired Sgt. Maj. Julius Jameson, Jackson gave a brief on the history of Montford Point. The evening concluded with musical performances in tribute to the Jameson family. 

  “I am deeply honored to be participating in the presentation to the Jameson family; thank you for this privilege,” said Buck. “This award not only places Willis Jameson and the Montford Point Marines among the ranks of great Americans, but it also places him among the great Americans who made significant contributions to the civil rights movement.”

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