This Tuskegee Airmen Tribute at #TakingTheStage Brings Everyone to Tears

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ABC’s star-studded “Taking the Stage: African American Music and Stories That Changed America” included an array of appearances from various icons who celebrated Black achievements and contributions. But, it was a tribute to the surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen that stopped the show and brought both live attendees and viewers at home to tears.

The special, which was taped Sept. 23 and aired Thursday, Jan. 12, took place at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. It coincided with the grand opening of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Although the likes of Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Gladys Knight and Jesse Williams were included in the lineup, it was the seven Air Force honorees who welled up the audience’s eyes.

When actor Tom Hanks introduced the airmen as a military choir sang “America the Beautiful,” a packed house rose to its feet. After President Barack Obama gave a salute from the balcony, former Secretary of State Gen. Colin Powell graced the stage to shake the veterans’ hands.

On Twitter, many were as emotional as those on TV.

André Daughtry was sobbing.

@ADenefieldJones said she couldn’t keep her eyes dry.

Boogie immediately adopted the airmen into her family.

Kellie Dupree shed some unexpected tears.

Sherrae Lachhu stated she couldn’t be average because of the tribute.

Makho Ndlovu also remarked on the feelings of the night.

Nwanyi Oma was inspired by the airmen.

Alabama native Vic Walker gave the vets his admiration.

Rudolph Braxton said the airmen filled him with pride.

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