From the New York Times:
"The election of Barack Obama was like a culmination of a struggle that we were going through, wanting to be pilots,” said William M. Wheeler, 85, a retired Tuskegee combat fighter pilot who lives in Hempstead, N.Y. He tried to become a commercial pilot after the war but was offered a job cleaning planes instead.
Mr. Obama has acknowledged his debt to the airmen, issuing a statement in 2007, when they received the Congressional Gold Medal. It said in part: “My career in public service was made possible by the path heroes like the Tuskegee Airmen trail-blazed.”
The invitation to his swearing-in was extended Tuesday by Senator Dianne Feinstein, the California Democrat who is chairwoman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
According to the article, there are 240,000 tickets for the presidential election, scheduled for Jaunary 20, 2009. The Tuskegee Airmen will be seated below the podium with 30,000 other guest, among them former members of Congress.
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