In April 2006, the U.S. Congress voted to award the Tuskegee Airmen a Congressional Gold Medal, the most prestigious award Congress can give to civilians. The award was presented to the surviving Tuskegee Airmen on March 29, 2007, at a ceremony in the rotunda of the U.S. Capitol "in recognition of their unique military record, which inspired revolutionary reform in the Armed Forces."
The medal features three Tuskegee Airmen in profile -- an officer, a mechanic and a pilot. The eagle symbolizes flight, nobility and the highest ideals of the nation. The years 1941-1949 indicate the years that these Airmen were assigned to segregated units. The reverse side depicts three types of airplanes flown by the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II: the P-40, P-51 and B-25. The medals on display are bronze copies of the original gold medal, which remains at the Smithsonian Institution per public law.
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