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Honoring the Past...Building the Future.....

(Doug High)
(Doug High)
Reported by: Doug High
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Updated: 8/20/2012 8:28 am
It’s the GMK Blog Page!

This is the place where Doug, Lauren and Geoff share their adventures around the Bluegrass and beyond! Great places to dine and shop, exciting events, entertainment and attractions, one tank trips to weekend getaways….or even just a rant on a pet peeve or two….you will find it all right here on the GMK Blog. Hope you enjoy….and check back often! 

Your ABC 36 “Good Morning Kentucky” Team



Honoring the Past….While Building the Future…..
Saturday, May 19th 2012


Welcome to our first “official” GMK blog. Doug High, here….thought you might enjoy reading about a truly great museum that is right in our Bluegrass backyard….yet, I get the feeling that there are many of you who have yet to take advantage of it (it’s always the attractions next door that are the last we get to).
 
It’s the Aviation Museum of Kentucky at Bluegrass Airport!

I took the family to a special Armed Forces Day event at the museum this afternoon…and a good time was had by all. Our boys Jackson (7) and Harrison (2) howled their displeasure when it was finally time to go home and only the promise of a return trip in the near future settled them down.
 
I should mention that we are a very patriotic family, so this really is the perfect venue for us. I serve as a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve, my father was in the Navy for a time as well and flew T-28 and T-34 aircraft in the mid 1950’s. My wife Lyssa’s father served on a Navy ship in the South Pacific in WW2, her Uncle was shot down in a B-17 and spent the rest of the war in a German POW Camp… and her grandfather was a pilot in WW1, no less! We count numerous relations on both sides of the family who have served in uniform, so Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day are big in our house.

When we found out that the very last flying WW2 B-29 bomber and (2) P-51 Mustang fighters were winging their way to Lexington for the weekend as guests of the Aviation Museum of Kentucky….our Saturday plans were set in stone.
 
First was a tour of the museum hangar….the first time for the boys and my first trip back in at least 6 years, I’m embarrassed to admit. I was delighted and overwhelmed at the massive upgrades to their facility and collection since my last visit. Allow at least an hour or two so you can properly take in their exhibits and collections when you plan your visit.


At some point along the way, the museum scored a stunning F-14 Tomcat Navy fighter jet…just sitting there like it’s ready to be catapulted off a carrier! Folks, this is a serious piece of hardware and to see it up close is worth the price of admission alone. Recently retired from active duty, this aircraft is a major “get” for our hometown museum that chugs away on donations and volunteer horsepower.


Of course, the kids went straight for the open Vietnam era helicopter and within 3 seconds of taking the pilot seats (and flipping every switch on the instrument panel) they were soaring through the sky courtesy of the best theater of the mind that only children can seem to conjure. But instead of hunting for Victor Charlie…they were helping Iron Man, Captain America and the Hulk save New York from aliens……





After we pried them out of the chopper, we headed outside to see the vintage WW2 aircraft that had come to pay us a visit. Between the Glenn Miller Orchestra playing on the loudspeakers and the sight of these 70 year old war birds shining in the sun like they just rolled off Rosie the Riveters’ assembly line, I could swear for a moment it was 1945…..and we were so close to victory after years of terrible cost. Taken back by their awe-inspiring sight, I closed my eyes and took a quick moment to thank the men who flew these planes by the tens of thousands and the men who kept them up in the air. Time has marched on and sadly, most of them are gone now, but I’ll never forget what they did…and I’ll make sure my boys don’t either, since tragically they will never enjoy an adult conversation with a member of the “Greatest Generation”.


We took the tour through the B-29 that was included in the admission price. As we waited in line, I thought of so many air shows through the 1970’s and 1980’s that my Father and I went to, and it made me proud to now introduce my children to these legends of the air that did nothing less than save the world.


I know that for my sons at this young age, it’s nothing but fun (as well it should be), but it puts a lump in my throat to know that someday, our boys will be as moved as Lyssa and I by what we experienced on this Armed Forces Day and that today we placed another brick in the groundwork for them to grow up to be good citizens and appreciative of this great nation. The Aviation Museum of Kentucky helps make that possible.

I’d encourage you and your family to visit the Aviation Museum of Kentucky, and pay your respects to the men and women past and present who fly the skies for your freedom……..and make some memories of your own!

Check out their website and plan your visit…… www.aviationky.org
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