Tuskegee Airman Buried During 'Red Tails' Movie Premiere

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By Christine Thomasos , Christian Post Reporter
January 23, 2012|3:42 pm

Luke Weathers Jr., a retired Air Force Lt. Col., was buried with other military heroes on the same day the "Red Tails" movie documenting his life debuted.

Weathers was a World War II aviator who died from a battle with pneumonia at the age of 90 in October. Although the veteran airman died in Tucson, Ariz., he was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery located in Virginia on the night of the "Red Tails" premiere Friday.

Weathers' family members wore red ties and scarves to honor his memory, imitating the aviators who used to paint the tails of their aircraft red. The veteran airman was also commemorated with a three-jet flyover and a caisson pulled by six horses.

Trina Weathers-Boyce, the veteran aviator's daughter, spoke about what she learned from her father.

"He would talk about his hard trials and tribulations to others, to children, because he never wanted us to feel like this (racism) is a reason we couldn't make it," Weathers-Boyce told The Washington Post.

"He would tell us nothing good comes easy. He'd say there are going to be barriers ... and you can overcome them," she added.

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Weathers had to overcome being one of the first black men to fly in the U.S. military, which did not exist before the Tuskegee Airmen came together in 1941. The airmen trained from 1941-1949 at the Tuskegee Institute, of which Booker T. Washington was a founder.

Trent Dudley, an Air Force lieutenant colonel and president of the East Coast Tuskegee Airmen Inc. chapter, spoke to The Washington Post about the significance of losing an airman.

"As with all the airmen, when we lose one of them, there is a chunk of history that goes with them," Dudley said.

Out of over 900 Tuskegee Airmen, the publication reported that an estimated 250 to 300 are still living.

 

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