Bill passed to honor Harlem Hellfighters with Congressional Gold Medal

HARLEM, Manhattan (WABC) -- They spent more time in combat during World War I than any other American unit, but the Harlem Hellfighters returned home to face continued discrimination from their own countrymen.

The soldiers are long gone, but they are finally getting some of the recognition they deserve.

On Friday, lawmakers announced the Senate passage of a bill that awards the 369th Regiment a Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of their bravery and outstanding service during the war.

"They fought in more combat in WWI than any other unit but the American white soldiers wouldn't fight with them, they had to fight under France, this is a long overdue honor and they deserve it and we must remember that bigotry cannot be fostered in the military or anywhere else," said Sen. Charles Schumer.

The bill now heads to President Joe Biden's desk for his signature.

The Congressional Gold Medal is an award bestowed by the United States Congress, to honor those, individually or as a group, "who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient's field, long after the achievement."

ALSO READ | Teen dies after lightning strike at Orchard Beach
EMBED More News Videos

A teenage boy has died after being struck by lightning during a fast-moving, pop-up thunderstorm that rolled over Orchard Beach late Thursday afternoon.

* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More New York City news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.