This Veterans Day in New York City held a more significant meaning than usual as a ceremony was held in Rochester to honor the Tuskegee Airmen. The ceremony was held at the National Warplane Museum in Geneseo where 5 members of the Tuskegee Airmen were awarded Congressional Medals of Honor for their heroic bravery and service to their country.
The Tuskegee Experience was a name given to the program employed by the Army Air Force during WWII to allow African Americans to finally begin operating and maintaining combat aircraft in the wake of the war. The Tuskegee Experience was headquartered in Alabama at the legendary Tuskegee Institute. This was a historic time for United States Civil Rights and one honored on this Veterans day during the ceremony.
In fact, there was already an official ceremony held in 2007 to honor the members of the Tuskegee Airmen with the Congressional Medals of Honor. Unfortunately, the individuals receiving the awards in Rochester, NY weren’t able to make the original ceremony. Wallace Higgins, one of the honored recipients couldn’t hold back tears during the esteemed ceremony. He recalled many experiences during his time serving.
For those members of the Tuskegee Airmen who had passed away before being recognized for their efforts and bravery, family members received the Medal of Honor on their behalf. It was a historic day for all Airmen and family members. Some people simply came to witness history during such a momentous occasion. Over 200 people were in attendance during the ceremony as Christopher Collins rewarded the medals.