Louisville, Ky. (WHAS11)- Two Louisville-based members of the Montford Point Marines have been awarded the highest civilian honor in the United States.
Congressman John Yarmuth presented the Congressional Gold Medals to Corporal Robert Baker and Sergeant Charles Lowerty Wednesday afternoon.
Both men served during World War II.
They are members of the Montford Point Marines, the first African Americans to enlist in the US Marine Corps.
“Mr. Baker, Mr. Lowery and every other member of the Montford Point Marines served our nation with honor. But their greater legacy is breaking down the barriers of segregation in our armed forces. They paved the way for minorities and women to join the Marine Corps and they ushered in social and cultural change in America,” says Congressman Yarmuth.
Another local Montford Point Marine, Private First Class Florian Meeks, was also awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, but was not at Wednesday's ceremony.