Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site grand opening celebration

America’s first African-American military aviators will be honored this weekend with the grand opening of the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Tuskegee. Federal and state officials and other dignitaries will pay tribute to the historic achievements and valor of the Tuskegee Airmen at the Grand Opening Ceremony on Friday at 1:30 pm. Many of the original Tuskegee Airmen are expected to attend. The ceremony at the site’s famed Moton Field will kick off three days of special exhibitions and interpretive programs at the Site, and other events honoring the Tuskegee Airmen throughout the Alabama River Region.
The Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center will host an art exhibit entitled “Sentinels of the Sky” which will feature the Tuskegee Airmen from October 10 – December 31, 2008 in downtown Tuskegee. The exhibit’s title “Sentinels of the Sky” is inspired by the role that many Tuskegee Airmen played as combat escort fighter pilots who protected U.S. bombers during their missions in World War II. The exhibit will focus on the activities, exploits and personalities of this legendary group of aviators. “The Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center is excited to present the works of some of the nation’s premiere aviation artists. These individuals have focused on painstaking details to capture the history of the Tuskegee Airmen in an accurate and visually stunning manner,” said Fred D. Gray, Center President and legendary Civil Rights attorney.
Lionel Richie will return home to perform during the Tuskegee Airmen Gala Reception and Banquet on Saturday at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in downtown Montgomery. Richie, a native of Tuskegee and graduate of Tuskegee University, is scheduled to return to the United States from a tour in the Middle East to perform for the Airmen during the Grand Opening weekend. The Gala, hosted by the Friends of the Tuskegee Airmen, will have a reception with seating for 1,200 people.
For a complete schedule of events for the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site Grand Opening Celebration see http://www.nps.gov/tuai/historic-site-grand-opening-oct-10-to-12.htm

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