Congressman Gus Bilirakis took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives Thursday to honor the life and service of Tuskegee Airman Willie Rogers from Pinellas County.
Rogers, the oldest remaining Tuskegee Airman from the original 100th Fighter Squadron, died in November.
Bilirakis, a Tarpon Springs Republican, represents Florida’s 12th Congressional District, which includes parts of northern Pinellas County.
Bilirakis’s full remarks:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life and service of an American hero from St. Petersburg, Florida: Tuskegee Airman Willie Rogers. Willie was the oldest remaining Tuskegee Airman from the original legendary 100th Fighter Squadron, the first African-American military aviators in the history of the U.S. Armed Forces.
“He was a part of history, and I’m deeply saddened to hear he died recently at the incredible age of 101.
“Willie truly represented the Greatest Generation: humble, hardworking, and dedicated to his country and his family. He fought the Axis powers, and protected our freedom and way of life, despite the disgraceful way the Tuskegee Airmen were treated.
“We would not be the nation we are today without those who served. I would like to sincerely thank Willie for his honorable service and his unwavering love of country.”