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Congress honors World War II aviation museum in Colorado Springs

WASHINGTON — The team at the National Museum of World War II Aviation is no stranger to projects that can drag on — one rare airplane at the Colorado Springs facility took about 15 years to transform from wreck to relic.

Even so, its leaders were pumped in December to learn that, after seven years of failed attempts, Congress finally recognized as national caliber their collection of 3,000-plus artifacts and working World War II airplanes they have put on display in hangars at the Colorado Springs Airport.

“Will we frame it? Hell, yeah,” said Mark Earle, a museum board member, of the designation.

Federal lawmakers bestowed the honor on the museum as part of a defense measure that President Donald Trump signed Dec. 12.

The title doesn’t come with any money, nor does the 80-word provision in the National Defense Authorization Act add the facility to the National Park System.

But the new label gives the museum plenty of added cachet that can be used to solicit private donations or entry into groups such as the American Alliance of Museums or the Smithsonian network.

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