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Voting to Name Memphis VA Medical Center for Luke Weathers Jr.

November 14, 2022 Press Release

World War II combat flying ace recognized

WASHINGTON – Congressman Steve Cohen (TN-09) today applauded House passage of his bill to name the VA Medical Center in Memphis for the late World War II combat pilot and career air traffic controller Lieutenant Colonel Luke Weathers Jr. The measure passed on a voice vote. Congressman Cohen spoke of Lt. Col. Weathers in a floor speech before the vote and said in part: “I rise today in support of our bill, H.R. 6863, to name the Memphis VA hospital in honor of a true World War II hero and a hero in American life, Lieutenant Colonel Luke Weathers Jr….It’s been well documented what he did with his life as a Tuskegee Airman and the Red Tails and the several planes he shot down…His name at the veterans hospital will be so important to inspire people to go into a military career and pursue aviation which Lieutenant Colonel Weathers encouraged people to do, particularly African American young men…His legacy endures in the lives that he touched…We’ve done a good thing today to honor a true American hero…I’m honored that I’ll be a part of keeping his memory alive forever.” See those remarks here. The bill has the support of the entire Tennessee delegation and now awaits action in the Senate. Congressman Cohen attended Lt. Col. Weathers’s funeral at St. Therese-Little Flower Church in Memphis, which Weathers integrated, and his interment at the Arlington National Cemetery in January 2012 at which the Army Air Force pilot was given full military honors including a four-jet flyover. In 2012, Congressman Cohen arranged for a plaque honoring Mr. Weathers to be placed at the Memphis International Airport recognizing his service with the Federal Aviation Administration, where he was the first African American air traffic controller in Memphis.

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