One night pretty soon after my arrival in Arlington, I saw this giant pointy thing from the passenger seat of a rideshare.
I had no idea what it was, and the driver of my Lyft didn’t know either, so when I got home I set about looking for it on Google Maps. I knew approximately where I was when I saw the thing, and it was obviously huge so it didn’t take long to figure out that it was the United States Air Force Memorial.
When Lorrie came up for a weekend visit a few weeks later, we noticed signs indicating it was nearby while we were on the way back from a diner. I had been meaning to go check it out, so we decided to stop. I’m glad we did, because the place was pretty neat.
The United States Air Force Memorial is at the east end of Columbia Pike, on the grounds of Fort Myer just south of Arlington National Cemetery. It is a fairly new memorial, relatively speaking- groundbreaking was in 2004 and it was dedicated in October of 2006.
The three metal spires are all different heights between 201 to 270 feet tall. They’re meant to look like the contrails of three jets doing a “bomb burst” maneuver, with the fourth spire missing to suggest a missing man formation.
Near the spires are four 8-foot-tall bronze statues sculpted by Zenos Frudakis, representing the United States Air Force Honor Guard. Across from the spires on the other side is a free-standing glass panel with the image of four F-16s in a missing man formation.
On either side of the spires are large reflective granite walls with various details carved in them. One section lists all the recipients of the Airmen Medal of Honor award, while another section contains comments and quotations from various important Air Force generals and other notables. Near the drive in are large carved inscriptions from Presidents Reagan and Bush.
I learned during the writing of this post that when there’s not a pandemic on, the United States Air Force Band holds concerts here every Friday night in the summertime.
Have you ever been to the US Air Force Memorial?
26/52 (and 5 of 30!)