Florida Senate - 2020                            (NP)    SR 1912
       By Senator Wright
       14-00717B-20                                          20201912__
    1                          Senate Resolution                        
    2         A resolution recognizing the fourth Thursday in March
    3         as “Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day” in Florida to
    4         honor the outstanding service of the Tuskegee Airmen
    5         to their country.
    7         WHEREAS, before World War II, discriminatory policies
    8  restricted the service of African Americans in the United States
    9  Armed Forces, and African Americans were excluded from serving
   10  in the field of military aviation, and
   11         WHEREAS, by the time that the United States was drawn into
   12  World War II, African Americans had long aspired to fully serve
   13  and protect their country in the military, including in the
   14  field of aviation, and
   15         WHEREAS, the rapid expansion of aircraft production and use
   16  during the war created a greater need for military pilots,
   17  leading to a public call on the War Department to extend the
   18  opportunity to fly aircraft to all servicemembers, regardless of
   19  race, and
   20         WHEREAS, to meet the need for pilots, the United States War
   21  Department’s Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) authorized
   22  colleges, universities, and flight schools to train students to
   23  fly and maintain military aircraft, thereby increasing the
   24  nation’s military preparedness, and
   25         WHEREAS, the Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University,
   26  in Alabama was one of six historically black colleges and
   27  universities chosen to participate in the CPTP and was later
   28  selected to offer advanced CPTP training and to serve as the
   29  sole training site for African-American military pilots, and
   30         WHEREAS, more than 15,000 men and women were involved in
   31  what was then referred to as the “Tuskegee Experience,” in which
   32  African Americans trained to fly and maintain combat aircraft,
   33  and
   34         WHEREAS, the Tuskegee Airmen—the pilots, navigators,
   35  bombardiers, maintenance and support staff, and instructors who
   36  trained at the Tuskegee Institute—served bravely and effectively
   37  in the war, at times exceeding the success rates of other Air
   38  Force squadrons, and
   39         WHEREAS, the month of March holds a special place in the
   40  history of the Tuskegee Airmen, for it was in March that the
   41  first cadets received their wings; the first maintenance crew
   42  began training at Chanute Field in Illinois; the first Pursuit
   43  Squadron, the 99th, was activated; and President George W. Bush
   44  presented the Tuskegee Airmen with the Congressional Gold Medal
   45  in 2007, and
   46         WHEREAS, many Tuskegee Airmen have direct connections to
   47  this state, NOW, THEREFORE,
   49  Be It Resolved by the Senate of the State of Florida:
   51         That the fourth Thursday in March is recognized as
   52  “Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day” in Florida to honor the
   53  outstanding service of the Tuskegee Airmen to their country.