Ethnic Heritage Museum Honors Special Service Members

Tuskegee Airmen Enlisted to Become America's First Black Military Airmen

ROCKFORD - Members of the Rockford community who served in special units and helped pave the way for integration in the armed forces are being honored this weekend.

During world war two, the Tuskegee Airmen enlisted to become America's first black military airmen.

In 1942, President Roosevelt gave African Americans an opportunity to be recruited into the Marines-with 20,000 recruits training at Montford soon after.

One of the organizers says it's important to keep history alive.

"A lot of people don't know about some of these contributions, number one and even if they do know in general about the contribution, they may not know that there are Rockford connections," said Vice President of the Ethnic Heritage Museum, Lynell Cannell. "So it's important to highlight our history and also for younger people to hear about these things."

The name "Buffalo Soldiers" was selected to pay homage to and ensure the legacy of African American military contributions in the post civil-war era.


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