Harlem post office renamed in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen

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Lauren Glassberg reports on the post office renamed in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen in Harlem.

The United States Postal Service is renaming a Harlem post office in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American pilots who fought in World War II.

A ceremony was held Monday at the post office on Macombs Place known until now as the Colonial Park Station

"Renaming this post office facility after the Tuskeege Airmen is a fitting tribute to the honor their memory and contributions to this country has been," said Rep. Adriano Espaillat.

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first all-black squadron activated into service by the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, and even while they bravely served this country, they were discriminated against.

"We're late on this post office but we're moving in the right direction," said State Senator Brian Benjamin.

Wilfred DeFour was a Tuskegee Airman, an aircraft technician. "I regret so many of my comrades are no longer here with us," he said.

After the war, he worked for the Postal Service for 33 years, just turned 100 and was incredibly proud to be there.

"It will mean there's recognition for Tuskegee Airmen and that's very important," said DeFour.

And it's important for those who work at or use the post office.

"It's wonderful, it's a lovely thing," said sales service associate JoAnn Lee. "It's a dedication we never would have thought would happen."

It actually takes an act of Congress to rename a post office and Rep. Espaillat introduced his bill last November. It unanimously passed the House and the Senate, and was signed into law in July.

"It's remarkable to get the type of bipartisan support to be able to bring us all together." said former Rep. Charles Rangel.

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societyAfrican Americanspost officepostal serviceHarlemManhattanNew York City
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