Tag Archives: Honoring Heroes

Honoring Heroes

2 Aug

We recently had the privilege of performing The 3 Painters speed painting show for an amazing group of people.  Over the course of the event we paid tribute to several different groups of veterans, including many from WWII.

As part of our performance we painted a tribute to one of these groups, the Tuskegee Airmen.  I can honestly say it was a thrill to speed paint a live tribute to these incredible men.

I was hoping to get a chance to meet one of them, and so I brought with me a smaller version of the live painting I had done for the performance.  After our performance, I asked a gentleman who had been helping the Tuskegee Airmen throughout the evening if I might get one of them to sign it for me.

He told me the airmen had been amazed, and honored by the performance and would gladly sign it. I was then introduced to every Tuskegee airman at the event and each of them signed it for me! Being a history buff, I was on cloud nine.

 Tuskegee Airman

The Honoring of American Heroes. Speed Painting Signed by the   Tuskegee Airmen

Now, for those of you who don’t know who the Tuskegee Airmen are, or why I might be so excited about this, let me explain.

The Tuskegee airmen were the first African-American fighter pilots in the US military.  They were a segregated unit, as we’re most at that time, and they trained at the army airbase at Tuskegee Alabama (hence the nickname).  Many in the military fought this, claiming black men were incapable of anything as complicated as flying a fighter plane.

There were hearings in congress where many elected officials attacked them at every opportunity.  But the Tuskegee men kept going.  They fought the military, they fought congress, they fought the prejudices of virtually everyone they met both here an abroad.  Eventually they were assigned to combat and flew escort to bomber planes.  They were one of the most successful squads of the war.

Think about this for a moment.  They were fighting the military, and their own government, not for any special treatment, but for the right to go out and fight and possibly die, FOR that same government and military.

If WWII represents the greatest generation, the the Tuskegee airmen are one of the finest examples of what made that generation great.

They are true American heroes.

And I got their autographs!