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By virtue of the authority vested by the Constitution of Virginia in the Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, there is hereby officially recognized:

Tuskegee Airmen and Women Airforce Service Pilots Commemoration Day

WHEREAS, when the United States was drawn into World War II, African Americans and women were aspiring to more meaningful jobs in the military, including flying and maintaining aircraft; and

WHEREAS, the rapid expansion of aircraft production during the war created a greater need for military pilots, and public outcry strongly encouraged the War Department to extend the opportunity to fly airplanes to all military members including federal service women; and

WHEREAS, the United States War Department's Civilian Pilot Training Program authorized colleges and universities to train students to increase the number of civilian pilots, and thereby, increase the nation's military preparedness; and

WHEREAS, the Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron and the Women's Flying Training Detachment were combined to form the Women Airforce Service Pilots to perform non-combat flight operations to preserve male pilots for combat duties during World War II; and

WHEREAS, the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama was one of six African American schools chosen to participate in the Civilian Pilot Training Program, later selected to offer advanced training, and eventually was the sole site for segregated military flight training; and

WHEREAS, the outstanding performance and heroism of the Tuskegee Airmen was key to the United States’ air success in the European theater during World War II; and

WHEREAS, the Women Airforce Service Pilots were stationed at 122 air bases across the United States and flew almost every type of aircraft flown by the United States Army Air Forces during World War II; and

WHEREAS, July marked the 75th Anniversary of Executive Orders 9980 and 9981, the desegregation of the Federal Workforce and Armed Forces; and

WHEREAS, on Tuskegee Airmen and Women Airforce Service Pilots Commemoration Day, we recognize these distinguished pilots for overcoming obstacles to serve our country during World War II and for paving the way for others to follow their enduring legacy;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Glenn Youngkin, do hereby recognize August 22, 2023, as TUSKEGEE AIRMEN AND WOMEN AIRFORCE SERVICE PILOTS COMMEMORATION DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of our citizens.