As an ex-military of 20 years and a military buff, I have wondered many times why, with Northern Ireland's military background in both World Wars, that we do not have a national military museum dedicated to the many servicemen that gave their lives.
Yes, we do have a couple of regimental museums here, but not one dedicated to all the forces. We only have to look around and we have many museum pieces located throughout Northern Ireland that could be brought together as a basis for a national museum.
We have the excellent Ulster Aviation Society collection of aircraft, both military as well as civilian. On top of this, we have the only First World War Royal Navy ship left in the UK. To me it is probably one of the best tourist sights in Northern Ireland, as anyone whoever looked at it when entering the harbour on a ferry or flying into the George Best Belfast City Airport might agree.
We have two excellent sites in Northern Ireland, the Maze and the Titanic Quarter, which would be ideal locations for a national museum. I believe that if one was built it would attract unprecedented numbers of tourists and generate much needed funds.
We only have to look around the world to se what national museums have done. They have become a shrine to the dead as well as bringing the past to the present generation. Northern Ireland deserves this.
So come on, you politicians that want to bring prosperity to Northern Ireland and want large numbers of tourists, this would be an excellent tourist attraction.