The Air Force Academy paid tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen through a wreath-laying ceremony on Wednesday.

The tribute recognizes a major historical milestone for diversity in the Air Force, as the Tuskegee Airmen were the first African-American aviators who began serving during World War II.

The ceremony is a symbol remembering and honoring their historic service and sacrifice in combat. 

Approximately 150 Tuskegee Airmen lost their lives while in training or on combat flights.

Lt. Franklin Macon, who is a documented original Tuskegee Airman and a Colorado Springs native, wants to share a bigger message.   

“You know, we’re no different than anybody else,” Macon said. “Just because we have different color skin doesn’t say we are different. We have the same the brain. Take the skin off, we all look the same.”

The wreath will be located at the foot of the Tuskegee Airmen statue in the Air Force Academy’s honor court.