FAI Ballooning Commission International Hall of Fame
Newly relocated to the Balloon Museum, the Hall of Fame features some 40 existing inductees and recognizes people who have made significant contributions to aerostation. It will open to the public on Saturday October 1, 2011. The Balloon Museum will have a private induction ceremony for media and invited guests on September 30 to induct Ron Clark, a member of the crew to make the first balloon crossing of the Pacific Ocean; Larry Newman, a co-inventor of the ultra-light airplane and co-captain on the first manned balloon crossing of the Pacific Ocean; Rocky Aoki, a restaurateur and a record-setting balloonist in crossing the Pacific Ocean in a helium balloon; and Olivier Roux Devillas, the founder of the French Aeronautical Federation and competitive balloonist. Past inductees with a New Mexico connection include Sid Cutter, the Balloon Fiesta co-founder, and Maxie Anderson and Ben Abruzzo, two of the three balloonists of the first trans-Atlantic balloon flight.
The new exhibitions are included with regular admission.
Children of War, Voices for Peace
Back by popular demand, this touching exhibition features a little-known footnote in the history of World War II. Japanese schoolchildren were recruited to help create “Fugos” — giant balloons that were armed with bombs and launched across the Pacific. The only enemy-caused deaths on the North American continent in World War II occurred from the detonation of one of these bombs. The exhibition features the story of one Japanese schoolgirl who later learned that her contribution to her country’s safety was an instrument of death, and of her subsequent efforts to promote peace.
Children's Peace Statue
This statue was dedicated at the Balloon Museum August 4, 2013. The Children’s Peace Statue is a monument designed and funded entirely by children. It stands as a symbol of hope for a peaceful future In the fall of 1989, children of Arroyo del Oso Elementary School in Albuquerque, New Mexico were studying the Arms Race. The children decided that one solution to the problem of war would be to teach young people to work for peace. During their studies, the students learned the story of school children in Japan who built a monument, the Genbaku No Ko No Zo Statue for Children Who Were Victims of the Atomic Bombs. Inspired by the story, the children formed the Kids’ Committee for the Children’s Peace Statue and made plans to design and build a peace monument of their own. The Kids’ Committee opened a nationwide design contest for the statue and designed and built a touring exhibit to promote the project. The group has cooperated with thousands of people from around the world and has collected the names of thousands of children who share their wish for peace.