Commemorative Air Force Museum
If you recall, a couple of years ago Jonas was obsessed with airplanes. I'd point up to the sky whenever a plane flew by in an attempt to let him get a good look at one. I even drove around the airport in the hopes we'd get lucky and witness a take-off. But, ever since 9/11 it's become virtually impossible, for good reason of course, to get a good look at an actual airplane.
So, when I heard that the Rocky Mountain Division of the Commemorative Air Force was having an event featuring WWII Warbirds, I knew this was the place for the boys to see some aircraft. At that time, I didn't think much of it and I didn't even bother to blog about it. But, that two hour trip to a very small museum near Grand Junction Regional Airport ended up being one of the most major influential excursions we've ever taken.
You just never know what is going to make a big impression on children. Therefore, I opt to show them everything at every opportunity. Since that original trip, Soren has become obsessed with WWII. He's like a 80-year-old man discussing the various battles, kinds of airplanes, and submarines used to sink the carriers in Pearl Harbor. While other kindergarteners were checking out books on Pokemon and Transformers, Soren was perusing the reference books about WWII. He loves, loves, loves him some war history and it all started because of the small display at the Commemorative Air Force Museum.
It's not often open, only for special events, so when I found out it was going to be open again last weekend I made it a point to visit again.
This is a great event, free and open to the public at special times, and one of the only places next to an air show where people can actually view and touch all kinds of aircraft.
The Commemorative Air Force is a national organization of retired servicemen who have dedicated themselves to perserving some of our nations military aircrafts. As a hobby, they restore these great planes and keep them in flying condition.
The planes are then flown to air shows and other commorative events across the country. For a fee, passengers can also fly in the restored planes. While we were there on Saturday, a WWII veteran took off in the Warbird while my boys saluted him from the runway.
That plane is most impressive, especially to young boys. It starts with a loud puff of smoke. The wings retract, and it sputters off like an old John Deer tractor.
Inside there is a room filled with WWII and other battle momentos, many from the personal collections of Grand Junction's veterans.
Outside, there are restored torpedos and military jeeps.
It may be small, but it's the perfect place for kids to begin learning a little world history. And that's the thing, both times my kids were nearly the only children there. I can't figure that out exactly, except to think that people must not know that place even exists in Grand Junction.
I'm giving it my personal recommendation. Make sure to check this place out the next time an event happens. It's well-worth it. The complete schedule and more information is available HERE.