July 26, 2018

The United States is marking 70 years since racial segregation was abolished in the Armed Forces.

African-Americans have served in every American war dating back to the American Revolution – but up until 1948, those troops were forced to fight separately from whites in their own segregated units.

“President Truman’s executive order was a great step for African-Americans and our nation as a whole, moving us forward,” says Kimani Panthier, of Academy Charter School.

For Babylon Town Councilwoman Jackie Gordon, the landmark measure is personal. More than half of her life was spent in the Army Reserves.

“There’s no bigger patriot than one who is scorned by a country, yet still will say ‘this is my country, and I will fight for her,’” says Gordon.

Many historians believe the decision to integrate the military was an important first step toward abolishing segregation throughout the country.