Before 1940, African-Americans were barred from flying for the U.S. military. Civil rights organizations and the black press exerted pressure that resulted in the formation of an all African-American pursuit squadron based in Tuskegee, Alabama, in 1941. They became known as the Tuskegee Airmen.

Memorial Day has come to be known as a day off of school or work and a day of fun in the sun for many Americans. Many forget that this day was started by President Lyndon B. Johnson in May of 1966 in order to remember those who have fought and died in service of our nation. Today, we should remember and celebrate those soldiers who have died, those who are currently serving and are military veterans who survived combat in any capacity. This Memorial Day, theGrio has compiled a list of African-American war heroes who have left their mark on this great nation.

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