For our regular Wednesday post this week, we did a photo essay of sorts based on our visit this past Sunday to the Palm Springs Air Museum. You can read that first post by clicking HERE. The museum was a place we’d planned to visit for a while (we’ve lived in California more than three years now), so we made it an add-on for our trip to see an airshow, which we’ll also cover here at Lofty Ambitions soon.
In our earlier post, we emphasized some of the distinctive features of the Palm Springs Air Museum: the vantage on the airport’s active runway, the really useful display of models next to actual planes, and the great library. When you look closely at those photos and those we post today, notice that the aircraft aren’t roped off. You can get up close, looking inside the ball turret of the B-17 bomber or peeking inside the Sikorsky H-34 helicopter. That proximity to the artifacts, combined with the friendly volunteer docents, makes this aviation museum a great experience.
Today is Veterans Day, celebrated each year on November 11 to commemorate the armistice, the end of of shooting, of World War I, to acknowledge veterans’ service, and, for many of us, to commemorate the hope for the end of war more generally. Last night at Chapman University, we saw Andrew Carroll, founder of The Legacy Project (www.warletters.com), and we heard letters written during different wars. If you have war letters (your grandparents’ missives from WWII in the attic, your friend’s emails from Iraq in the bottom of your inbox), preserve them. You can find preservation tips at The Legacy Project’s website. If you want to throw them out, consider instead sending them to The Legacy Project, which respects confidentiality requests. Dozens of aviation museums restore and display artifacts of war, but the letters from those aviators, other soldiers, and those on the homefront tell the fuller story.
Today, we offer more photos from our visit to the Palm Springs Air Museum, with a focus on the role that aviation museums play in restoring and making accessible artifacts that might otherwise be lost.
If you’re interested in more about Andrew Carroll, The Legacy Project, and the adaptation by John Benitz of the project’s war letters into the play If All the Sky Were Paper, watch the following video.