MILITARY MATTERS: Cyclists Ride as a Memorial to the Tuskegee Airmen

WTVM M-F 5:30-6 Syncbak
Updated: Jun. 2, 2021 at 7:32 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - An active way to honor the fallen Tuskegee Airmen took place on Memorial Day in central Alabama - a bike ride through history.

Cyclists lined up at historic Moton Field this past Memorial Day for an 8-mile ride in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, the country’s first ever black military pilots. The pilots trained on the very field in which the cyclists rode.

“All 992 of the Tuskegee Airmen Pilots would have made their way right through these historic grounds. This is where they had primary flight training and learned really how to fly the way that the army needed them to fly before they were deployed in World War II,” said Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site Park Ranger, Chad Hoing.

Despite doubts of their abilities, racism and segregation, the Tuskegee Airmen went on to fly missions during World War II that helped the U.S. win the war.

“Out of those 992 pilots, we had 66 Tuskegee Airmen who lost their lives overseas defending their country, and when they returned home, they still fought for that double victory, that victory here at home for equal rights,” added Hoing.

“I’ve actually had the pleasure of actually speaking with some of the original Tuskegee Airmen,” said cyclist Ian Kemp.

And as one of the riders who took part, he also serves active duty in the U.S. Air Force.

“The ability to come out on a memorial day and remember the lives that were sacrificed by those to give us the freedom that we enjoy is incredible an the story of the Tuskegee Airmen is something that I think warms the heart of every American,” said Kemp.

They are honoring what it means to go the extra mile for your nation.

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