Profile - The CAF Red Tail Project

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South St. Paul, MN, United States
The mission of the Commemorative Air Force's (CAF) Red Tail Squadron is to preserve and share the history and legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, America's first black military pilots. The Airmen served with distinction during WWII (and beyond). They overcame racism on the ground to fight fascism in the air, fighting for a country that turned a blind eye to policies and a large population that discriminated against these men and their families because of the color of their skin. The CAF Red Tail Squadron restored and flies a red-tailed P-51C Mustang such as the Airmen flew during WWII. The airplane appears at air shows in North America and at each stop her crew tells the story of the Airmen and how through persistence and courage they overcame huge obstacles in order to serve in the military. In 2011, the CAF Red Tail Squadron developed a traveling exhibit called "RISE ABOVE" to educate people - especially young people - about the Airmen and how they demonstrated the importance of setting goals and overcoming obstacles in order to succeed.

Friday, November 16, 2012

It's Not All About Us - The Canadians Also Celebrate Thanksgiving


     The American Thanksgiving is relatively early this year.  In fact, November 22nd is the earliest date that the holiday can fall on.  If you’re looking for a fun factoid to share with your guests next Thursday between football games and the dessert course, that would qualify.
     As I pondered which type of pie to bake for the family feast this year (plain pecan, bourbon chocolate pecan or apple - my son is in charge of the pumpkin variety), for some reason I got to thinking about the Canadian Thanksgiving.  That meant research (yay!) and here's what I found out:
     Our neighbors to the north tie their day of thanks to the fall harvest (we do the Pilgrims/Indian version).   After being unofficially observed within a two week time frame between late October and early November since the late 1500s, November 6 was declared an official national Canadian Thanksgiving holiday in 1879.  In 1957, this was amended to the second Monday in October.  That change was made because the November date meant that Thanksgiving and the marking of  Remembrance Day (like our Armistice/Veterans Day) on November 11 often occurred in the same week.   Holidays are great, but two in a week is a bit much.
     Other than tying the holiday to the harvest and celebrating it on a Monday in October, the actual celebration in Canada is a lot like it is here.   Families and friends gather to share a traditional turkey-based meal and (hopefully) offer a thought of thanks to their particular deities for blessings received during the previous year.
     Next Thursday, drive safely, eat joyously, and don't forget the "thank you" part.  We at the Squadron are thankful for you and all of our supporters. Without your enthusiasm for the story of the Tuskegee Airmen and the financial generosity provided to help us share that story with others, we'd just be another charity with a gimmick.  Instead, we are a decades-old non-profit with an educational mission that uses a rare WWII-era airplane, an original movie, and face-to-face conversations to show people that no matter how dire the circumstances, courage and perseverance such as the Tuskegee Airmen exhibited as they worked to become America's first black military pilots can help anyone succeed.
     Happy Thanksgiving!

The CAF Red Tail Squadron is a volunteer-driven 501c3 non-profit organization that operates under the auspices of the Commemorative Air Force. For more information, please visit redtail.org.

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