The New Air Force Memorial

afmemorial.jpgOver the weekend, I accompanied my wife and son to the new Air Force Memorial just outside of Washington, DC. It’s not often that there is created a whole new perspective on the capital city. This beautiful new monument has done just that. It’s perched on a high promontory of land adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery and it overlooks the Pentagon (the side hit by the plane on 9/11/2001) and a wide panorama of the capital. On a clear fall day, the view is magnificent.

The monument itself is a soaring tribute to the newest branch of the armed forces. Three stainless steel towers rise and curve as much as 270 feet into the air, simulating the flight path of Air Force jets. The architect, James Ingo Freed, who also designed the Reagan Building and the Holocaust Memorial in Washington, had his work cut out for him in finding a way to memorialize flight.

The monument is an engineering feat, a reminder that our society needs engineers (and other highly skilled workers) to perform at its best. The monuments are clad in stainless steel, yet another reminder of the manufacturing base of our country. And if that’s not enough reminders about manufacturing, how about the link to the technology that has created the aircraft that Air Force men and women fly daily? That’s homegrown too.

To read more about the Air Force Memorial, click on the link above. Here’s a link to a good USA Today story about it as well.