MUSKEGON - In honor of Black History month, a special ceremony was held at the Great Lakes Naval Memorial and Museum to recognize African American veterans that served our country.

Many of the veterans at Friday night's ceremony served during World War II and Vietnam.

More than two million African-Americans registered for the draft in World War II, many of which joined the Navy. At the time, African-American men could only serve as cooks because the military, along with the country, was still segregated.

Visitors at the ceremony were witness to living history, which included a man named Frederick Henry, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen.

"I didn't know at the time that we'd be famous after 60 years," said Henry.

Henry was 18-years-old when he enlisted in the military in 1942, a turbulent time for African Americans in the military. He remembers police harassing his unit in Alabama.

"Your riding in a cab, and they would stop the cab, they would stop the cab to make sure you were a paying customer, they would stop you for anything," said Henry.

At one time, Henry considered leaving the Tuskegee Airman, but not because of the harassment.

"At the time, I wanted out of the Tuskegee, I wanted to join the paratroopers because they had sharp boots, sharp uniforms," said Henry.

Henry says he has no regrets, and says he's glad he stayed with the Airmen and served his country.

"Right now, everywhere I go I'm a hero, before I was just a soldier."

During the ceremony, there was a special presentation to the Tuskegee Airmen. Exhibits were also set up that traced the service of African Americans from the Revolutionary War through the current conflict in Iraq.

The museum's director hopes to make this an annual event.