(Phoenix, State Capitol)—-The fourth Thursday of March each year will now be Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day in Arizona. Governor Janice K. Brewer made that official at a ceremony at the State Capitol on September 26, after signing SB 1128 into law.
The bill was sponsored by Senator Al Melvin of Tucson. It sets aside one day each year to honor the achievements of the Tuskegee Airmen, an Army Air Corps program to train African Americans to fly and maintain combat aircraft. The Tuskegee Airmen overcame segregation and prejudice to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups of World War II.
The Arizona Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen Inc. says nine surviving Tuskegee Airmen have Arizona ties. Six of those men attended a ceremony September 26 at the Capitol to celebrate the new law. Governor Brewer signed the bill into law at the ceremony and Senator Melvin spoke about why he decided to sponsor the bill to create a Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day in Arizona.
“Edmund Burke during the Revolutionary War said, ‘The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing’”, said Senator Melvin. “Obviously these airmen stepped up and helped the United States win that war.”