Armed Forces Military Museum on Ulmerton Road in Largo could be forced to liquidate

Posted at 5:50 PM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 17:50:52-04

A Largo museum is desperate to avoid auctioning off more than 100,000 military artifacts.

The Piazza family, which owns the Armed Forces Military Museum on Ulmerton Road has pushed back plans to liquidate twice.

The museum closed its doors in January a few months after the founder, John Piazza, passed away. 

It was a place where thousands gathered every Memorial Day to remember those who fought for our freedom.

The museum had been operating in red for the past 8 years. Owners were hopeful someone would want to take over the collection.

Steve Piazza explained, “We’re sad, we’re very sad. We would like to have hope but that is starting to become less and less every day.”

The museum is now padlocked, fenced, wrapped in barbed wire and without a single visitor for months. 

John Piazza's mission when he opened the museum was simple: To keep the stories of so many veterans alive.

Piazza's family has searched and searched unsuccessfully for someone to take it over. The bills keep stacking up. Even closed, the museum costs the family $10,000 dollars a month to operate, according to Steve Piazza.

They’re giving it three more months. 90 days and with only one option: To pray for a miracle.

“We would love for someone to call us tomorrow and say we can’t let this happen,” Piazza added.

In Florida's recently released state budget, there is $300,000 set aside so that the Florida National Guard and Military Affairs Department can buy a portion of the museum's inventory. No word on what the state would do with the artifacts once they own them.