At New York’s famed Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night, Cresencia Garcia, 101, a former Army medical assistant, was honored during a salute to veterans. Garcia is one of the many unsung patriots during America’s Jim Crow years. Working around the clock, she cared for and treated the sick and the wounded, Black and white. Color didn’t matter, despite the brutal indignities of racism she endured on both sides of the Atlantic.
“I couldn’t go in there because I was Black. I couldn’t sit there to eat because I was Black,” Garcia says. She was part of the Army’s segregated 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion, nicknamed “Six Triple Eight” — all Black and all women, some assigned delivering the millions of letters from the home front.
Their motto: No Mail, Low Morale.
Four women are buried in the American cemetery at Normandy in France, three of them from the 6888th. Historian John Monsky says that only a few of Garcia’s colleagues are left and that time is running out for them to be recognized. “I think this is a tribute to Black Americans. They showed up and they fought every time that America called upon them,” Monsky says.
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SOURCE: NBC News, Adam Reiss and Rehema Ellis