Marion Meredith Beal was recently recognized for his receipt of the Congressional Gold Medal by California Congresswoman Karen Bass.
Former World War II Sergeant and Chief Clerk Beal was voted “Honor Man” by his platoon at Montford Point, a facility at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, and later was the first enlisted black man to perform duty at the United States Marine Corps Headquarters in Washington, D.C. He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of being one of the first to integrate the United States Marine Corps.
Congresswoman Bass gave the following speech to honor Marion’s bravery this past Veteran’s Day:
Today I honor an extraordinary individual from my home district–Marion Meredith Beal for his receipt of the Congressional Gold Medal for his dedication and contribution to the United States Marine Corps. A seasoned leader in his community, he serves as an outstanding example to the Los Angeles area and the nation, demonstrating profound service and devotion to the betterment of his family, his community members, and his country.
Mr. Beal was born in East Texas, moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950′s, and acquired his bachelor’s degree at Bishop College and Master’s at Pepperdine University. He served his country honorably in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1943 to 1945 being named “Honor Man” of his platoon, as he served as an original Montford Point Marine during World War II. He later established himself as Chief Clerk at the Montford Point Marine Corps headquarters serving as the only African American on his staff. Among many other notable achievements, he was also the first enlisted African American to perform duty in the U.S. Marine Corps headquarters in Washington D.C. Mr. Beal helped set the foundation for integration into the U.S.M.C. during a very crucial time for the U.S. Military.
After his service, Mr. Beal continued to demonstrate commitment to his community and country through his work with the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in West Los Angeles, and his time with the Los Angeles Unified School District as Assistant Supervisor of Student Body Finance, among other positions. He also helped found the 78th Street Block Club, and the Cub Scout and Boy Scout troops in his neighborhood. Mr. Beal is devoutly dedicated to the Greater New Light Baptist Church and is passionately devoted to his family. He is a very powerful and influential role model with over 50 years of active involvement in his community and he continues to be a positive example with a caring and genuine character that has dedicated himself to the well-being and improvement of Los Angeles.
Mr. Speaker, I am very proud to have such an inspirational community leader like Marion Meredith Beal as a part of California’s 33rd Congressional District and I congratulate him on the receipt of this award.