JEFFERSON BARRACKS NATIONAL CEMETERY, MO (KPLR) – Wednesday morning in Normandy there was praise and song to honor the life of Dr. Arthur W. Ward, a Tuskegee Airman and lifelong educator.
“He would actually pull us out of school and take us on his business trips because he thought the experience would benefit us more,” says Joyce Ward Brooks, daughter. “He always encouraged us not to be afraid to take risks.”
Ward learned to become a fighter pilot as a Tuskegee Airman in Alabama, later flying in the Philippines during World War II. After the war, Ward became an educator, teaching high school and later earning his doctorate degree from Indiana University.
“As kids he would take us to different plants so we could see the process,” says Brooks. “Things like automobile plants, milk and dairy farms, different things to see how things work.”
The Florissant resident was also a deacon, a basketball coach, and teacher across the country. But it’s his service to his country and Congressional Gold Medal honor that many will remember.
“They just simply said, ‘Watch me,’ and they achieved,” says Yolandea Wood, president of the Hugh J. White Tuskegee Airmen Chapter. “Dr. Ward is just one example of a Tuskegee airman who served and then continued to serve his nation.”
“He encouraged us to always speak up and speak out,” says Deborah Ward, Daughter. “A lot of my friends know that I am speaking for them. But that’s the way I was raised; to always speak up for what you want and what is right.”