Orlando Science Center unveils Tuskegee Airmen monument
ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
The Orlando Science Center held a Veteran's Day event to unveil a new monument to the Tuskegee Airmen.
Several surviving members from the first group of African-American military aviators in the U.S. armed forces were on hand.
"It's a dream come true," said Lt. Colonel Leo Gray, a Red Tail pilot. "We started working on this three years ago!"
Known for the signature red-tailed P-51 Mustang planes they flew during World War II, the airmen were honored with a 12-foot spire that features an inspirational message.
"This monument is here for them to see, and be constantly reminded of what those gentlemen went through, what they put down, the things that they overcame," said Mike McKenzie, founder of Vision of Flight.
There were more than 900 pilots trained at Tuskegee, Ala., of whom 356 airmen were considered an elite group of fighter pilots that were sent to various bases in Europe
In honor of the airmen, the center also held a screening of "Red Tails," the 2012 film which portrayed them.
"We're very proud of what we did. At the time, we were just doing our job, and we didn't think we were doing anything particularly outstanding," said Lt. Colonel Gray. "But it turns out, we had a very commendable record."