Air Force Prepares to Dedicate Memorial

By Master Sgt. Daniel Elkins, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 10, 2006 - Fifteen years after conception of the Air Force Memorial, construction is nearing completion this week in preparation for the memorial's dedication Oct. 14 in Arlington, Va.

The memorial, overlooking Arlington National Cemetery, features stainless steel spires that punctuate the skyline 270 feet high and illustrate the bomb-burst flying formation made famous by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds Demonstration Team. It was designed by architect James Ingo Freed, who died in December.

As the nation's newest service and the last branch of the armed forces to have a dedicated memorial, the Air Force is set to observe 60 years of global air and space supremacy Sept. 18, 2007. Just as the Air Force Memorial honors airmen who have served, are on active duty and those who will join, activities commemorating the service's 60th anniversary pay tribute to the dedication, sacrifice and contributions of those who pioneered the skies, service officials said.

Performances by the U.S. Air Force Band and national recording artist Lee Ann Womack will follow the Oct. 14 ceremony. The dedication also includes performances throughout the day by the Air Force Drill Team and interactive and static displays as part of an open house.

The weekend's dedication activities conclude with a memorial service Oct. 15 at 10:30 a.m. at the Air Force Memorial.

(Air Force Master Sgt. Daniel Elkins is assigned to Air Force Print News.)

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