PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The story of the Tuskegee Airmen is one of honor and bravery. On Monday, students at Penn Hills High School learned all about it.
The school district hosted an original Tuskegee Airman, who shared his experiences in combat.
The students were all ears as Wendell Freeland took the microphone.
“I am one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, I’m 87,” Freeland said.
He remembers each and every experience in World War II with detail, like it was yesterday.
“I signed up, one afternoon, a Friday afternoon, I was told I was shipping out. I got on a choo-choo train headed west.” Freeland said.
From combat to life after, Freeland’s story is an inspiration.
Like so many of the Tuskegee Airmen, they were first African-American aviators in the United State Armed Forces.
“It’s history, you can read about it in the books and all that, but its history that comes out to life. I get to go in there and listen to them, not many people get that opportunity, so I’m just happy to be here and it’s an honor,” Penn Hills student Wayne Phelps said.
“It’s inspiring, you never know what we do right now, how it can impact the years ahead of us,” Penn Hills student Kayla Davis said.
Because of advanced video technology, not only are the Penn Hills students in this auditorium taking part, but more than 10,000 students from elementary, middle, high schools, even colleges from all over the country were in attendance.
A Penn Hills teacher came up with the idea for the presentation after he learned that more Tuskegee Airmen came from western Pennsylvania than any other part of the country.
He said he wanted the students to hear first-hand about bravery and overcoming prejudice and segregation.