JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A memorial to remember the first African-American recruits admitted to the Marine Corps during World War II unveiled toda at Lejeune Memorial Gardens in Jacksonville.
The statue weighs about 1000 pounds, with the anti-aircraft gun weighing in at 17,000 pounds.
The gun commemorates those 20,000 black Marine recruits who trained at the segregated boot camp from 1942 to 1949.
A retired Marine who helped with the project said the monument is designed to preserve their legacy.
“For a Marine, it doesn’t matter if he’s black or white. If he’s reading a story where guys that didn’t think they could make it made it, when they thought the struggle was too steep they made it, any Marine can walk away with that story,” said Houston Shinal.
The memorial project is still in phase 1, but expects to start phase 2 in the near future.
The project is estimated to cost two million dollars.