Jerry smith said, "I think it's pretty neat myself, I've always loved airplanes."
Jerry smith is the museum's curator and a U.S. Air Force Veteran. He says there is an interesting local story behind each piece of history in these glass cases.
For starters, General Claire Chennault was born in Tensas Parish and went on to lead the Flying Tigers to fight the Japanese in WWII. ULM began training pilots for war in 1939. And the navigator for the plane that dropped the first atomic bomb, the Enola Gay, was also trained here.
Right in front of the museum is Selman field. This is where thousands of men were trained to fly planes just like these in WWII. Now the museum is restoring these planes to add them to an exhibit about military and aviation history.
Monroe is also the birthplace of Delta Airlines. Some of the first flights took place from Monroe and Shreveport to Dallas and Jackson, for just $10. Now the area is looking for ways to regain its standing as a central flight hub.
Smith said, "Aviation in our future is going to be predominant, it already is."
The city of Monroe is investing in the future of it's airport. It's adding on a 34 million dollar terminal. Smith says this week is a great opportunity to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.
"You need to know the history so you can kind of put it together from the past, so we know how to launch into the future," said Smith.