Back to Proclamations

Proclamation Header Image

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 Commemoration Day

WHEREAS, when the United States was drawn into World War II, African Americans aspired 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; and

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

WHEREAS, the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, one of six black schools chosen to participate in the CPT Program, was selected to offer advanced CPT training and, ultimately, was the sole site for segregated military flying training; and

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

WHEREAS, the month of March is significant for the Tuskegee Airmen – it is the month when the first cadets received their wings; the first maintenance crew began training at Chanute Field, Illinois; the first Pursuit Squadron, the 991, was activated; and the month in which President George W. Bush presented the Tuskegee Airmen with the Congressional Gold Medal; and

WHEREAS, on Tuskegee Airmen 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 March 28, 2024, as TUSKEGEE AIRMEN COMMEMORATION DAY in the COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.