Monday, October 16, 2006

Dedication of the Air Force Memorial

We just returned from our vacation to Virginia. When we were driving into Washington, DC the first thing we noticed were the spires hovering above the Pentagon. We didn't know what they were. We soon discovered that they were the new Air Force Memorial - still under final construction. This is the picture we took of them from Arlington Cemetery.

James Ingo Freed was the architect for the project. The site is on the high ground near the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery, making it visible across the area. It features three stainless steel spires that soar skyward, the tallest reaching 270 feet, imitating the "bomb burst" formation flown by the United States Air Force Thunderbird Demonstration Team.

The three spires also represent the three core values of the Air Force - Integrity First, Service Before Self, Excellence in all that is done - and the three branches of the Air Force - active, guard and reserve. Embedded in granite beneath the three spires is the Air Force Star.

On the grounds, the Memorial includes a bronze sculpture of a four man Air Force Honor Guard sculpture by Zenos Frudakis, two granite inscription walls, a parade ground area and a glass wall with engravings illustrating the missing man formation to honor the more than 54,000 American airmen that have been killed in combat. This is to remind us of the debt of gratitude we owe them for their sacrifices and for safeguarding American Freedom.

The Memorial was dedicated over the weekend with much pomp, ceremony and many dignitaries including President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld.

It is a beautiful memorial. We couldn't get any closer than Arlington Cemetery since it was still in its final stages of construction, but it was moving to see it towering above us. Everywhere we went in Washington, DC it sparkled in the distance.

For more information, go to
the Air Force Memorial site.

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