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East Coast Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. to memorialize famed black aviators with wreath-laying ceremony

March 21, 2024 8:20 PM | Anonymous

WASHINGTON ̶ In a solemn tribute to honor its deceased “Lonely Eagles” members, the East Coast Chapter of Tuskegee Airmen Inc. (ECCTAI) will hold a wreath-laying ceremony from 10 a.m. to noon March 28 at the U.S. Air Force Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.

The ceremony, part of Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day (TACD), is typically held on the fourth Thursday in March and recognizes the nearly 15,000 men and women from various military professions who comprised the “Tuskegee Airmen Experience.”

“Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day is more than just an annual event,” said Jerome Hodge, president of ECCTAI. “It’s an opportunity to honor the legacy of the courageous Tuskegee Airmen and to motivate, inspire and stimulate young people to seek and achieve successful careers in the fields of aviation and aerospace.”

Officials invited to the wreath-laying ceremony include retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert D. Bowie, former special assistant to the Director Air National Guard for the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force Energy, Installations, and Environment, Headquarters Air Force; retired Lt. Col. Shelton Ivan Ware, one of the last living original Tuskegee Airmen; distinguished senior military leaders; officials from key veteran service organizations; and aviation executives.

The ceremony comes on the eve of a presidential proclamation and congressional resolution to honor the famed airmen whose exploits are well documented and inspired the issuance of Presidential Executive Order 9981, which led to the desegregation of the U.S. military in July 1948. Members of the Tuskegee Airmen Experience included aircrew, ground crew and operations support team members who were part of the Tuskegee Airmen ̶ the segregated black Army Air Forces who trained at Tuskegee Army Air Field, Alabama, during World War II. For more information about ECCTAI, visit ECCTAI - Home.

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