ABOVE PHOTO: Dr. Edward Robinson Jr. (L) and LeRoy Homer Jr. (R.)
HARRISBURG – State Rep. Ronald G. Waters, D-Phila./Delaware, offered two resolutions that House members adopted.
The first resolution (H.R. 803) honors the life of business leader, attorney, author and historian, Dr. Edward W. Robinson Jr., and extends condolences to his family and friends.
According to Waters, Dr. Robinson was as recognizable a face as any in Philadelphia; lauded for his philanthropy and commitments to improving African American education and history, as well as his role as mentor for many young, black professionals in the city.
“While it would seem that a historian with a life goal to uncover the truths about a forgotten past would be preoccupied with the ancient, Robinson proved throughout his life that he was equally as concerned with the present and future progression of people of African descent as he was with the past,” Waters said.
“House Resolution 803 is just a simple token of our appreciation for a lifetime of work in breaking down racial stereotypes and redefining the African American experience in the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, America and beyond.” he added.”
The second resolution (H.R. 833) recognizes August 27, 2012 as “LeRoy W. Homer Jr. Day” in Pennsylvania and honors Captain LeRoy W. Homer Jr.’s accomplishments and bravery as an inspiration for a new generation of African American pilots.
Homer piloted Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, and he is credited for being amongst the first to offer resistance against the hijackers who sought to crash the plane into a high profile target in Washington D.C.
“It was the resistance of the decorated Gulf War veteran, his crew and passengers on Flight 93 that made sure the plane never reached the hijacker’s target,” Waters said.
The plot of the hijackers was ultimately foiled, but Homer, as well as all of the passengers and crew of Flight 93 perished when the plane crashed into a field in rural Somerset County.
“The color of Leroy Homer’s skin was lost on most Americans because on that day, the day we were attacked on U.S. soil by foreign terrorist – color was not important,” Waters said. “The hijackers did not care what we looked like or what neighborhood we came from when they carried out their atrocities; to them – we were all Americans,” he continued.
To conclude his remarks on the House floor, Waters used Homer’s inspirational story to make a plea to Pennsylvania lawmakers and citizens alike.
“The life and death of a well-respected, but otherwise little-known pilot from Long Island, New York should serve as a reminder to all of us that unity must always trump dissension and that doing what is best for this country, and more specifically, for Pennsylvania, must always outweigh our differences,” he said.
Both resolutions were unanimously adopted.