Downtown Airport Terminal renamed in honor of Tuskegee Airman who still lives in Kansas City
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A century of public service should not go unrecognized.
One of the metro’s most decorated military veterans received a unique honor on Tuesday, adding to the legacy of military heroism and public service he has built over the past 101 years.
Ret. The name of US Air Force Brigadier-General Charles McGee will now be engraved in the general aviation terminal at Charles Wheeler Downtown Airport.
McGee, who turns 102 in December, has flown 409 combat missions as a military fighter pilot in three overseas conflicts, including World War II and the Korean and Vietnam Wars. McGee even ran the airport for a while, working as a civil servant in his youth.
“I don’t have the words to thank you,” BG McGee told a crowd of supporters Tuesday. “Life has been a blessing. I could say – why me? Who me ? Who chose my name? I don’t know, but I know who to thank.
A plaque with a photo of McGee in military times will be permanent at the terminal. The Federal Aviation Administration also surprised McGee, naming three navigation waypoints in his honor, which means his legacy will continue to guide pilots in the Kansas City area.
“Your life, your persistence and your resilience are an inspiration to many of us on so many levels. You embody the core values that we all strive to uphold every day, ”said Steve Dixon, FAA spokesperson.
“As a kid who grew up seeing what you’ve all done, I say thank you,” Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said. “We look forward to telling many more generations about the greatness that exists in our country, the great black war heroes that we have in this country.”
While this honor recognizes McGee’s past, the man himself advises us to look to the future.
McGee took a moment to discuss future generations, advising all of us to teach lessons based on honor and public service. Fittingly enough, McGee’s next birthday will be December 7, Pearl Harbor Day, which is usually associated with patriotic cases and military reverence.
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