Does Meridian need another museum?
Meridian -- i'd love for you to just browse around the website of some dear friends of ours N.C. Transportation Museum. Not only do they do a Day Out with Thomas the Train, they run the Norfolk & Western 611, have antique car shows, air shows and SO much more. With Meridian's rich history in both aviation (we train fighter pilots, even the former Vice President's son just last year and #TheKeyBrothers first in air refueling and longest flight) and trains (i've said it already a million times but #FoundedOnTheRails) and yet we don't have a railroad museum OR an aviation museum.
Let's talk about these two areas for a moment:
1.) The Railroads - I'm biased. Obviously -- But, take a look at the facts here of why our town was founded. If it weren't for the railroads -- Meridian wouldn't exist. Sherman came through during the Civil War to strategically burn down the railroads in Meridian. We rebuilt them in 26 working days to carry on and become the largest city in the state of Mississippi. We. Don't. Back. Down. Meridian was the hub for all things railroad. Towns like Hattiesburg and Laurel were named by men who worked on the railroads in MERIDIAN. It all started here.
2.) Aviation -- Okay also a little biased on this one too, my husband is a pilot. Meridian, Mississippi trains future naval aviators and carries them onto their wings of gold. Just last year the former Vice President's son trained in MERIDIAN. Meridian is home of the Key Brothers, who set a world record endurance flight in a Curtis Robin aircraft know as the "Ole Miss." This record breaking flight began on June 4, 1935 at Key Field, Meridian, Mississippi. It ended 27 days later on July 1, 1935. Fred and Al Key flew 52,320 miles non-stop.
There are so many great places honoring aviation. One of my favorites is a place out in Pungo, Virginia that hosts an event called 'The Flying Prom' where they fly time period appropriate planes while the Virginia Symphony Orchestra plays time period appropriate music to match the aircraft -- complete with a massive firework show at the end. (Military Aviation Museum)
So, why another museum? Because it brings tourism. Tourism brings economic grown. Economic growth brings resources for those in need and our schools. Museums provide opportunities for school programs (the STEM -Science, Technology and Math- possibilities in either of these museums are endless... learning how to run steam, work on planes and trains -- model railroading to enhance artistic talent) events for families that make people want to live here and not leave. Is it a lot of money to get a museum up and running? YES. It's an investment WORTH it. Invest in your community, honor it's heritage, grow your resources, create jobs, enhance the foundation that's already there.
I'm beating a dead horse, but I believe in this. We need this. We deserve this. My kids and future kids of this town deserve this.
Check out some great museums doing it well: https://www.tvrail.com/
Checkout some of my favorite moments at the Military Aviation Museum. I spent most of my time there when we lived in Virginia Beach.