Hands-on exhibit teaches students about Tuskegee Airmen

- Young black men fought for and won the right to serve the country in World War II. Now North Texas children have the chance to learn about the Tuskegee Airmen.

To celebrate Black History Month, the Dallas Executive Airport is featuring a special traveling exhibit from the Commemorative Air Force called “Rise Above.” It’s about the pilots who paved the way for so many as the first black military airmen.

The interactive history lesson features WWII artifacts and airplanes. There’s also a movie that tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen.

“We hope the kids, when they see this movie, they’re inspired to rise above their challenges they find themselves in and make better choices in school, sports or whatever they do with their life,” said Bill Shepard, the vice president of education for the Commemorative Air Force.

Shepard has been flying since the age of 15. He holds a lot of respect for the airmen.

“They were trailblazers for my career and my path. So if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I want to do. It’s a message of thanks and a message of gratitude,” he said.

As part of the traveling exhibit, children can climb up and take a seat inside one of the actual planes the airmen would train in back in the 1930s and 40s.

All “Rise Above” visitors leave with a dog tag featuring the six principals of the Tuskegee Airmen – aim high, believe in yourself, use your brain, never quit and expect to win.

The exhibit is open to schools, churches and civic groups for field trips through Feb. 16. It will also be open to the public on Feb. 10.

But space is limited so reservations are required. To make a reservation, email Shepard at bshepard@cafhq.org or call 214-330-1700 ext. 114.

LINK: commemorativeairforce.org

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