Love of aviation launches teens' fight to reopen museum

Love of aviation launches teens' fight to reopen museum »Play Video
Kjer Galbraith and his 14-year-old sister, Kaya, talk in front of the now closed Pearson Air Museum. They are working to get the museum reopened.

VANCOUVER, Wash. – Two teenagers are pushing to preserve Pearson Air Museum, which was closed after a contract dispute between the city and the National Park Service.

Brother and sister Kaya and Kjer Galbraith are gathering momentum to reopen the museum through the community and the Internet.

Kaya's love for aviation soared after spending summers at the Pearson Air Museum camp and at 14 years old she just knows flying is for her.

"(I'll) probably go into the field of aviation, be a pilot, probably just for fun, or fly celebrities around – that would be fun," she said.

Her 16-year-old brother, Kjer, also wants to focus on flying and computers after working with a flight simulator.

"In school, they teach history, geography, math – this teaches life lessons. This gives you skills you need to get into the workforce," he said.

Both volunteered at the museum for three years until it suddenly closed last week.

"I was very sad about that," Kaya said.

Both say even though the museum is closed right now, they can still remember everything that was inside the building and said it was a real treasure.
To save those memories, Kaya created a paper petition while Kjer created an Internet one. They have roughly 500 signatures. They delivered some of the signatures to Sens. Maria Cantwell's and Patty Murray's offices, hoping to save something that's shaped who they are.

"This is our second home and for many other people, too," Kjer said.

Kaya said she's also tried to contact the president and vice president.

She also said they'll continue gathering signatures hoping to get as many as possible to show the community support.

U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler is also working to save the museum. On Thursday, she introduced a bill that would transfer ownership of it from the National Park Service to the city of Vancouver.

The bill is now before the House Committee on Natural Resources.