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    HomeWorldOne of the First Black Marines, 101, Honored for His Service

    One of the First Black Marines, 101, Honored for His Service

    One of the First Black Marines, 101, Honored for His Service

    Cpl. George Johnson, one of the first Black Marines, drew applause from the crowd Monday as the 101-year-old was honored for receiving the nation's highest civilian award.

    Johnson, of Lauderhill, served as a policeman during the World War II era, and was briefly deployed in the Pacific during the conflict's immediate aftermath. He is one of the Montford Point Marines, the first Black members of the Corps.

    On Monday, he was recognized as a recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal at a gathering at the Lauderdale African-American Research Library and Cultural Center, where he drew cheers from about 200 attendees. They gathered to honor him and fellow trailblazers in the armed services.

    After the event, Junior members and community members swarmed the centenarian, grabbing pictures with him and reaching out to extend their congratulations. Johnson said he felt “pretty good” about receiving one of the nation's highest honors.

    It's among the many kudos for him in South Florida: Lauderhill Mayor Ken Thurston previously proclaimed a day after him, “George J. Johnson Day” — and complimented Johnson on his recent accolades.

    “I thought he was a very impressive guy,” Thurston said Monday night. “I'm happy that he was honored, and I would extend my congratulations to him on finally being recognized for his contribution to the safety and the well-being of our country.”

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