In 1943 due to segregationist policies and the racial attitudes of Americans in general, African Americans could not receive military pilot training at Maxwell Army Base in Montgomery, Alabama alongside their white counterparts. Not so today...Partially due to the persistence and accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen, in 1948 President Harry S. Truman issued Executive Order 9981 officially ending segregation in the United States Armed Forces. This led to a gradual "changing of the guard" in the attitudes and views of the majority of Americans living today. African Americans are accepted as full and equal citizens entitled to the rights and freedoms guaranteed to all men under the United States Constitution, including that of military service training.
On Friday, October 14, 2005, evidence of this change was clear when U.S. Air Force volunteers of various nationalities worked side by side doing area clearing of small trees and underbrush for a memorial for the famed Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. Over 40 volunteers from Maxwell Air Force Base AFOATS Enlisted converged upon the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site and worked diligently to clear trees near the front of the temporary visitor center on Chappie James Avenue in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Upon arriving at Tuskegee the group had tours of the Tuskegee Institute and Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Sites and Tuskegee University. They then dined at Tuskegee University's Kellogg Executive Conference Center. Afterward, they got moving on the historic site work. The volunteers were so motivated they offered to return and do more clearing. Many expressed their appreciaiton for the courage and determination of the Tuskegee Airmen, and felt that this was a way to thank them. The National Park Service staff is eagerly awaiting their return.
Thank You Again, and Hat's Off!!! to Maxwell Air Force Base AFOATS Enlisted Volunteers!!!