Washington, DCóToday, Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-27) submitted a statement to the Congressional Record in support of H.Con.Res.26 in acknowledgement and appreciation of the contribution of the Tuskegee Airmen to the Air Force and nation.
Attached is the statement as submitted by Congressman Higgins:
Mr. Speaker- I rise today in strong support of H.Con.Res.26 as offered by my colleague, Mr. Rogers, in acknowledgement and appreciation of the contribution of the Tuskegee Airmen to our Air Force and our nation. Their example of breaking racial boundaries in order to contribute to the Allied efforts in WWII is still valuable today in our war against global terrorism. I thank Mr. Rogers for bringing this important resolution to the floor today.
The lessons we can learn from these men are numerous. In a time when the world was threatened by fascism, they stood among the many to repel its force. They demonstrated to their countrymen that skin color does not define the quality or the character of the man, but rather the sense of duty to the ideals they hold and their willingness to do what it takes do defend those ideals.
The Tuskegee Airmen not only fought against enemies in the air, but they engaged in a struggle within their own country. They were the first African-Americans to qualify as military pilots in any branch of the armed forces, as a result of years of pressure on the military to further integrate the Air Force. These men took a big step in the fight for equal civil rights, and made a major impact in the war as a result of their superior skill as pilots.
As we face the challenges of today, we must remember their contribution to the US Air Force and to the American civil rights movement. We must honor their dedication to the values of justice, equality and democracy as we go forth in our war against terrorists. The men and women that protect the citizens of this country come from many racial backgrounds. Because of the example of the Tuskegee Airmen, the aviation industry and the armed forces have been able to benefit from the contributions of many talented people from all different origins.
In the promotion of democratic values abroad, the Tuskegee Airmen helped to promote the ideal of racial equality. We must remember their honorable service as well as the message that they promoted through their example. The lessons that can be taken from history must be remembered and practiced every day. In our war on terror, in our global humanitarian assistance, and in our domestic fight against crime, it is vital that we apply our national values to the conduct of our everyday lives.
The memory of the deeds of the Tuskegee Airmen must not be forgotten. The fight against discrimination and evil is ongoing, and it is only by learning from our past that we can successfully achieve our goals of the future.
Mr. Speaker, I am proud to stand with my colleagues in appreciation for the service of the Tuskegee Airmen and support of this resolution, and I would like to thank my colleague, Mr. Rogers for his leadership on this issue.