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Air Force museum closes after initially opening during fed shutdown

First the message said they would be open on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018, then the message said they wouldn't.

NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE U.S. AIR FORCE/FACEBOOK

By BARRIE BARBER | Dayton Daily News, Ohio | Published: January 20, 2018

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE (Tribune News Service) — The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force closed Saturday after initially opening in the morning in the midst of a federal government shutdown.

Hundreds of people had trekked inside the museum Saturday morning before the closure at 1 p.m., including Matthew and Leigh Boyce.

The married coupled traveled to the Air Force museum from St.Louis, Missouri hoping the aviation mecca was open despite a partial federal government shutdown that struck midnight Friday.

Nearby, a National Park Service interpretive center near Huffman Prairie where the Wright brothers perfected the airplane was closed because of the shutdown, although the property itself was open to traffic.

Matthew Boyce, 46, took a chance when he ventured to the world's largest military aviation museum to find out.

"We came into town to see our daughter and this was obviously one of the things we wanted to go to, but we were worried after we heard the news that we weren't going to be able to get in," Boyce said as he and his wife, Leigh, stood in the newest gallery housing iconic presidential planes and one-of-a-kind experimental jets.

"We checked the website that said it might be a possibility that it would not be open because of the shutdown and we called this morning and they said they didn't know whether they were even going to be open, but they suggested we come and see," he added.

A museum spokeswoman said in an email late Friday the museum planned to stay open this weekend unless it receives a federal order to shut down.

Still, the political drama over the failure of Congress and the White House to prevent a shutdown because of a lapse in a temporary funding frustrated Boyce.

"Our entire government causes me frustration," he said. "It's a little ridiculous that things like this get used as pawns in political games."

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Front view of the National Museum of the United States Air Force as seen in 2012.
U.S. AIR FORCE

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