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Tuskegee Airmen Honored in Veterans Day Ceremony


November 11th, 2013 | WMFE- Visitors entering the Orlando Science Center will now pass by a monument honoring African-American pilots who fought in World War II. This morning's Veteran's Day unveiling of the Red Tail pilot statue honors the men who fought fascism abroad and racism at home.

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[The Red Tails memorial depicts four P-51 Mustangs like those flown by the pilots of 332nd fighter group in World War II. Photo by Amy Kiley / WMFE]

The pilots joined the sector of the Tuskegee Airmen during the era of Jim Crow laws, but the twelve surviving Red Tails in attendance at the unveiling talk about justice and citizenship when asked about their service.  

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Leo Gray remembers a 1920s military studying saying African-Americans like him lacked the intelligence and bravery to fight.  

He says he and the men he led have proved the study wrong.

The large crowd at today's ceremony echoed that sentiment.  

Today, community leaders, family and fellow military members honored these men for their service and disparaged the prejudice they overcame to offer it.

 

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