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Congresswoman Clarke Honors African-American Contributions to the Armed Forces

Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on a resolution she introduced with several colleagues to honor the enormous contributions of African-Americans to 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. 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. 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. Before breaking the “color barrier” in Major League Baseball, 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, Texas. When Medgar and Charles Evers returned from World War II, both veterans were not allowed to register to vote. 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. 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. 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. Today we honor the African-Americans whose commitment, patriotism and courage will remain forever an inspiration to the American people.”

U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.

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