GLOVERSVILLE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Ambrose “Cowboy” Anderson of Gloversville got the New York State Liberty Medal, the Senate’s highest honor for service and valor, for his birthday on Friday. Anderson was among the first African Americans in the Marines, serving during the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1946.
Along with the medal, a car parade was also organized to salute the hero veteran on his 95th birthday.
Sen. Jim Tedisco presented the New York State Liberty Medal to “Cowboy” in Gloversville Friday afternoon. “Corporal Anderson, and many of the African Americans who served at the time, experienced racism and discrimination and did not get the recognition he and his colleagues deserved,” Tedisco said. “I am proud and honored to help rectify that in some way with this long-overdue heartfelt recognition by the state of New York for Ambrose Anderson’s courageous service.”
Corporal Anderson was a star football player at Gloversville High School who was assigned to the segregated Camp Montford Point in North Carolina after enlisting in the Marines in 1943. He and the roughly 20,000 African American Marines who served here from 1942 to 1949 endured terrible prejudice and racism.
Recently, the U.S. has started recognizing and respecting the service of Anderson and his colleagues, expressing gratitude by awarding the Montford Point Marines the Congressional Gold Medal.