2006-05-05 / Community

Tuskegee Airman Visits Far Rockaway's Middle School 53

MS 53/Brian Piccolo Middle School seventh and eighth grade students were treated to an afternoon of living history as Colonel Ed Monroe, a Tuskegee airman, recounted his years of training and combat. History came alive as Monroe described the challenges faced by AfricanAmericans in our armed forces.

History teacher Andrea Naham and Assistant Principal Diane Ludvigsen invited the Colonel and his fellow Tuskegee Institute flyer, Ruby I. Williams, to the school on Thursday, March 23, for an afternoon of inquiry and awe-inspiring tales. Mr. Monereau, the school's Principal, was thrilled that the students could get a firsthand look into history.

The students learned of the determination and dedication necessary to become an AfricanAmerican combat airman during World War II due to the segregated status of American troops. They were astounded by the level of skill and success achieved by the Tuskegee airman and his fellow army-aircorp flyers in the face of discrimination and doubt. The Tuskegee Airmen never lost a bomber during their hazardous missions. The students also learned of challenges faced after World War II by the women flyers, such as Williams.

The auditorium was still as the students listened to the motivating presentation and asked thoughtful questions at the conclusion of the assembly. Colonel Monroe offered to answer the remaining questions through mail correspondence with Naham and the students.

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