On Friday, Sept. 20, the USS Constitution Museum and USS Constitution hosted an underway honoring more than 250 educators at the start of the school year. In attendance was special guest and honoree Marvin Gilmore, decorated World War II veteran and social justice leader.
Also on board were Massachusetts Board of Education and Boston School Committee members, as well as educators and students from Boston Public Schools.
The K-12 educators and educational leaders from across New England experienced joint USS Constitution and USS Constitution Museum educational programming on board the Ship. Museum staff and Navy sailors ran the interactive activities, which included a ship design challenge and mock gun drills.
Mr. Gilmore was recognized in honor of service to his country with the Museum’s Men of Iron Award.
Museum President Anne Grimes Rand introduced Mr. Gilmore before presenting him with the Award.
“Marvin Gilmore is someone who has lived history, and made history,” she said.
Mr. Gilmore accepted the Award with remarks about his experiences in World War II, life in the U.S. post-war fighting for civil rights, and how he’d like to be remembered.
“I want my legacy to be as a crusader for freedom,” he said.
Marvin Gilmore is a decorated World War II veteran, civil rights activist, entrepreneur, business owner, and community leader. Mr. Gilmore served with the 458th Battery “A” Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion, which stormed the beaches on D-Day. In 2010, he received France’s highest honor of merit when he was named a Chevalier of The Legion of Honor due to “his heroic service in World War II.” In 1968, Mr. Gilmore co-founded Unity Bank and Trust Company in Roxbury, Massachusetts, the first African-American-owned and -operated commercial bank in Boston, which is now OneUnited Bank. He was president and CEO of the Community Development Corporation of Boston from 1973-2014, spending four decades working towards economic empowerment for Boston’s underserved populations.