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Clarke honors African-American contributions to U.S. Armed Forces

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As part of African-American History Month celebrations, Brooklyn Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke has introduced a resolution in the US House of Representatives, with several of her congressional colleagues, honoring the “enormous contributi­ons” of African-Americans in the Armed Forces of the United States.

“From the Revolutionary War and the Civil War to World War II and the War on Terrorism, African-American women and men have been dedicated members of our armed forces and decorated for their excellence in battle,” said Clarke, Democratic representative for the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn.

“Yet, in the not-so-distant past, when many of these soldiers returned from their military service, they faced discrimination back home, here in the United States, the nation to which they swore their allegiance,” she added.

Clarke noted that, after World War I, the 369th Infantry, known as the “Harlem Hellfighte­rs,” was awarded the Croix de Guerre, the highest military honor in France.

However, because they were African-American, their heroism was not acknowledged here at home, Clarke said.

Before breaking the “color barrier” in Major League Baseball, the congresswoman said the legendary Jackie Robinson was court martialed by the Army for refusing to sit in the back of the bus while he was stationed in Fort Hood, TX.

When Medgar and Charles Evers returned from World War II, both veterans were not allowed to register to vote, she also noted.

“The contradiction between the battle for freedom in Europe and Asia and the legacy of segregation and Jim Crow at home in the United States contributed substantially to the moral imperative of the Civil Rights Movement, in which many veterans of the armed services participat­ed,” Clarke said.

“I am extremely proud to highlight these American heroes and commemorate their contributions to the well-being of our nation during African-American History Month 2015,” she said.

“Today, we honor their sacrifices, both on the field of battle and all across our country as their example continues to fill us with pride, and we reflect on what their endeavors have done on behalf of the greater good for all of humanity,” she added.

“Today we honor the African-Americans whose commitment, patriotism and courage will remain forever an inspiration to the American people,” she continued.

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