For Immediate Release:
July 11, 2018
Contact: 215-901-6182, firstname.lastname@example.org
Boerio’s Efforts Led to Renaming a Local Pennsylvania Post Office after Tuskegee Airman Luther Smith
Latrobe, PA – The son of a Pennsylvania Tuskegee Airman, Gordon Smith, wrote the following open testimony regarding Bibiana Boerio’s efforts to get a local U.S. Post Office named after his father, Luther Smith, in honor of his service as Tuskegee Airman. Luther Smith was awarded the Medal of Honor by the Daughters of the American Revolution 10 years ago today, on July 11, 2008 as well as the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007.
Below is Gordon Smith’s testimony:
“My father, Luther Smith, was one of the original distinguished African American combat fighter pilots from World War II — today known as the Tuskegee Airmen. Luther Smith flew 133 combat missions and was decorated with numerous awards including the Distinguished Flying Cross. My father had to bail out of his burning airplane on what turned out to be his final mission in October of 1944. My father was severely injured in the process and was captured by the Germans and spent the remaining eight months of World War II as a Prisoner of War. Dad, along with his Tuskegee Airmen colleagues, was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2007, the highest award granted to a US citizen. He was also awarded the Medal of Honor by the Daughters of the American Revolution on July 11, 2008.
“When my father passed away in late 2009, arrangements were made for Dad to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Given Dad’s exceptional service to the country, we thought it would be terrific to honor Dad with a military flyover. Since the US was engaged in multiple military conflicts at the time, we were advised a military flyover could not be arranged. We contacted Dad’s congressman, Joe Sestak, for assistance. As Chief of Staff for Congressman Sestak, Bibiana Boerio immediately responded to our request for assistance. Within 24 hours, Bibiana had arranged for the Air Force’s premier First Tactical Wing to provide a flyover at my Dad’s memorial ceremony on January 15, 2010. For the hundreds of attendees at the ceremony, it was an exceptionally moving tribute to see the four F-15 fighter jets give their ultimate salute to one of World War II’s most decorated pilots.
“Several months subsequent to the ceremony at Arlington, Bibiana drafted a piece of legislation that would rename a local U.S. Post Office in Pennsylvania after my father and she then shepherded it through the process of getting all 19 Members of Congress representing PA to sign onto the bill.
“We are eternally grateful for Bibie’s extraordinary efforts to honor an American patriot.”
Bibiana Boerio is the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania’s 14th Congressional District, which is comprised of Westmoreland, Fayette, Greene and Washington Counties. A native of Latrobe, PA, she is running for Congress because she believes the people of Southwestern PA want government to work for them. She is committed to enabling job creation, fighting for Social Security and Medicare, and strengthening educational opportunities for all, understanding that this is what will improve the local quality of life and enable communities to succeed.