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Tuskegee Airmen Treated Like Movie Stars At Flag Day Event Along Independence Hall

By John McDevitt

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Flag Day events were going on all day at various locations in the Delaware Valley on Thursday.

There was a flag raising ceremony outside Independence Hall. The 78th Army Band played and members of the Philadelphia chapter of Tuskegee Airmen were on hand. Among them, 86-year-old Eugene Richardson (pictured on right in photo above) of West Mount Airy, who was signing autographs, something he says he finds surreal and credits the George Lucas film Red Tails.

"Most of what is depicted by black men has to do drugs and alcohol and fighting and killing and all of that nonsense," Richardson said. "But there are many highly intelligent heroic things that go on in the black community, and 'Red Tails' is a chance to see black men in intelligent heroic situations."

Doug Ballard from Brookhaven was at the event.

"I'm very proud of being an American," said Ballard. "It always makes me happy on Flag Day when you see of all the flags flying and I think a lot of people need to be reminded from time to time about their national pride.

Flag Day also marked the U.S. Army's 237th birthday. The modern Army has its roots in the Continental Army which was formed on June 14, 1775.

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