During the Socialist era, Bulgaria had a large army, for a country of its size. After the regime changes in 1989, many Soviet combat aircraft were retired. Nevertheless Bulgarians love their history and numerous proud moments are reflected in monuments throughout the country. Thus, Instead of being destroyed, dozens of fighters were turned into monuments projecting the strength of this country during a long period of time. These jets, bought cheaply by the mayors of large and small cities and villages, can still be seen in the city centers, in day cares and schools, on the roofs of buildings, and courtyards of restaurants, or even in the streets, where children play. The contrast between the glorious military past and the modern fast-paced life is almost grotesque. But for the inhabitants of these cities and villages, planes bring back pride.