Tuskegee Airmen given congressional medal

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The Tuskegee Airmen, black pilots of World War II whose combat contributions languished as historical footnotes until a 1995 movie helped turn them into legends, capped their record of honors Thursday with the Congressional Gold Medal.

The medal was presented to original members of the 99th Pursuit — later Fighter — Squadron during a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda. One medal, of gold, will be housed in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. Duplicate medals made of bronze will be presented to each of the original airmen, officials said.

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