The saga of the Tuskegee Airmen holds a special place in my heart. As the grandson of an Air Force Colonel, I grew up hearing tales about their heroics from a man who had actually met them on the front lines. When I had just moved to Columbus, GA in 2008 to help open the National Infantry Museum’s new $96 million building, I found out last-minute about the opening ceremonies for the newly created Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site. With the Infantry Museum’s Education and IT Director’s, I drove the 40 minutes to Tuskegee, where I was able to be part of the ceremony honoring these incredible men who gave so much to their country.
The 20 of January has become a special date for the Tuskegee Airmen. Three years ago (more than 50 years after they participated in the first integrated inaugural parade), the surviving pilots and ground crew attended the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama. The Airmen were given seats of honor below the podium, sitting among former Congressmen and other dignitaries.
Now Jan 20 will take on a new meaning as Hollywood once again attempts to bring the message of the Airmen to a broader audience. The long-awaited “indie” film Red Tails, from producers George Lucas and Rick McCallum (the powerful force behind the Star Wars saga) will premiere on Jan 20, 2012. Below is the trailer for Red Tails, along with some other cinematic looks at the Tuskegee Airmen over the years.
Red Tails (2011)
Wings for this Man (1945 – narrated by Ronald Regan)
The Tuskegee Airmen (1995)
Red Tail Reborn (2007 – narrated by Michael Dorn)
Resurrecting Moton Field (2009)