Pensacola is home to the National Naval Aviation Museum. And it’s the world’s largest naval aviation museum with more than 350,000 square feet of exhibit space…and the admission is $0.
While the museum is focused on things man has made, it is well worth the time to see it, if you’re in the area. It’s almost overwhelming when you walk through the doors and see the various displays of military personnel and the machinery that has been made to defend the freedoms that we enjoy here in the USA. Most of the exhibits are of real-life aircraft and navy vessels that have been in actual use throughout history.
We were told as we entered that the museum changes often. Bonnie had taken the children there about 25 years ago and the museum was quite a bit smaller then than now. Several exhibits allow you to climb inside and see what it feels like to sit in the pilot seat of a fighter jet or a prop-Wildcat or helicopter. Put your fingers in the holes created by actual air-fights during world war II or Korea or Vietnam, as you see the planes that defended our rights to live free and to worship as we believe God desires.
The cost is free to visit the museum and its displays. There is a fee to see the IMAX movies or to ride in one of the motion flight simulators. While Bonnie and I didn’t see the movie or ride the simulators, we were kept quite busy just exploring all that the museum has to offer. We enjoyed sitting in a “ready-room” as a video played actual footage of experiences that took place during wartime. The attention to detail and authenticity by the Department of the Navy is to be commended. Many of the displays on the second level showed what it was like to live during the era of WWII and we were taken back in our memories to some of those days as we explored the artifacts on display: things like old typewriters, pianos, cooking equipment, and the more simple way that people lived in those days. Below are a few of the exhibits that you can enjoy, should you be able to go:
After visiting the museum I was reminded that while I am grateful for those who have served and are now serving in our military, we must never put our hope in our government for our future. Yes, there are times when we must stand up and defend our family, our community, and our country, but we know that there is coming a day when it will all end and Jesus will set up His Kingdom here on earth. We pray that all who read these words will be ready for that day to come.