Airport will house Museum of Military Memorabilia

Florida Weekly – July 21, 2011

Image: Naples Municipal Airport

The Naples Airport Authority has voted unanimously to provide space at Naples Municipal Airport for the Museum of Military Memorabilia. The museum is constructing display cases for photos, medals, flight jackets, uniforms, newspaper clippings and as many as 500 of the museum’s 10,000 artifacts. Aircraft models also will be showcased in the 900-square-foot space in the airport’s commercial service terminal along North Road.

“We plan to have a small display set up for the month of August to coincide with Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive observances, and we are planning the museum’s grand opening for Veterans Day, Nov. 11,” says Robert McDonald, who has served as museum president since 2008.

Lois Bolin of Naples Backyard History is coordinating the Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive effort in Collier County and spoke to the airport authority in support of airport space for the museum. “This is an extraordinary opportunity to create another historical touchstone in Naples,” Dr. Bolin says.

NAA board member Linda Flewelling sees the museum as an opportunity for students to experience history. “I hope schools will bring students for tours,” she says. “The visibility of the museum may also encourage people to donate their military memorabilia.”

Naples Municipal Airport’s central location, convenient parking and accessible space make the terminal an excellent site for the museum.

The Museum of Military Memorabilia was founded in 2006 and has accumulated more than 10,000 artifacts available for public viewing. The museum’s goals are to honor the veterans who have and are protecting the cause of freedom, to preserve artifacts associated with military history and to create a greater understanding of military conflicts among present and future generations.

Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive is a national effort to remind America of the values and accomplishments of the generation that endured the hard times of the Great Depression, fought to defeat the greatest tyranny in history and then launched an unprecedented effort to assure a better future for both friends and former foes alike. For information about local observances, call Naples Backyard History at 594-2978.

Naples Municipal Airport is home to flight schools, air charter operators and corporate aviation and non-aviation businesses as well as fire/rescue services, mosquito control, car rental agencies and the Collier County Sheriff’s Aviation Unit. All funds used for the airport’s operation, maintenance and improvements are generated from activities at the airport or from federal and state grants. During the 2009-2010 fiscal year, the airport accommodated 86,000 takeoffs and landings. For more information, visit www.Fly- Naples.com.

SOURCE: Florida Weekly

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