City of Southfield commemorates Memorial Day Friday, May 24

May 20, 2024

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This year’s program will honor the Montford Point Marines, the first African Americans to serve in the United States Marine Corps

The city of Southfield will commemorate Memorial Day on Friday, May 24 at 9 a.m. in Southfield Council Chambers, 26000 Evergreen Road. 

The program will include remarks from Southfield Mayor Dr. Ken Siver and Southfield Veterans’ Commission Chairperson Dr. Rodney Caruthers as well as a keynote address by Master Sergeant Ramon Rogers representing the Montford Point Marines of America. The Montford Point Marines were the first African Americans to serve in the Marine Corps that were trained at Camp Montford Point from 1941 to 1949 prior to serving in WWII. Marine Butler Martin, who is 101-years-old, is one of approximately 200 original WWII Montford Point Marines surviving nationwide. Mr. Martin will be in attendance at the ceremony to receive a special recognition and plaque from the Southfield Veteran’s Commission.  

Internationally renowned vocalist and recording artist Kimmie Horne will perform a special rendtion of the “Star-Spangled Banner" and the ceremony will also include a presentation of colors; 21-Gun Salute; and the playing of Taps by Paul Roache of Bugles Across America. Rabbi Aaron Starr of Congregation Shaarey Zedek will provide the invocation and Pastor Dr. Aaron L. Chapman of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church will deliver the benediction. Refreshments will be served in the City Hall main lobby immediately following the ceremony.


About the Southfield Veterans’ Commission

The Southfield Veterans’ Commission serves to strengthen common veterans’ causes and to make the community aware of veterans’ rights and roles; honor those who have passed on; preserve honor for those veterans of the future; and to assist veterans and their families when in need.

About the Montford Point Marines

The Montford Point Marines are the first African Americans to serve in the United States Marine Corps. Between 1942 and 1949, more than 20,000 African Americans trained at the segregated Montford Point in North Carolina. The Montford Point Marines of America, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) exempt non-profit military veterans' organization that was founded to honor the legacy of the first African Americans to serve in the United States Marine Corps. The organization is one America's most prestigious military and veterans organizations, whose mission is to preserve the history and legacy of America's First Black United States Marines. It was founded by the late President-Emeritus, GySgt. Henry l. Baul, who was the fifth (5th) African- American to be inducted into the Marine Corps immediately after former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed Executive Order 8802, effectively abolishing discrimination in the defense industry during World War II.

For more information, contact Southfield Community Relations at (248) 796-5130.