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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Philly Mural Honors Local Tuskegee Airmen

Roger Terry, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen has died at the age of 87 in Los Angeles. He was one of 300 African-Americans who received the congressional gold medal in 1997 for World War Two service.

The news comes, coincidentally, as the city of Philadelphia's 3,000th mural was being dedicated on Sunday at 2pm in West Philadelphia - a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen.

KYW's Karin Phillips reports the wall-sized mural is on 39th Street facing south toward Chestnut and, in a series of blues, greens, and browns, shows the African-American airmen performing their many tasks. A lot of it is three dimensional. Sixteen-year-old Melanie Johnson of the Girard Academic Music Program (right) especially liked working on that part of the project:

"It's like a plane coming out toward you and the propellers, we worked on that. And on the propellers (it) has different symbols that we think that they fought for. Like on the one that I worked on, there were chains and a lock and war tags and things."

Students from the Philadelphia School District, working with a muralist, researched the project and interviewed local Tuskegee Airmen, who's images are also displayed inside the Rotunda at 40th and Walnut Streets.

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