Heritage to Horizons celebrates 70 years of AF dominance

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Bryan Franks
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
As the sun set across the Arlington, Virginia, skyline May 18, 2017, the Air Force kicked off its Heritage to Horizons summer concert series at the Air Force Memorial in honor of the service’s 70th anniversary.

The event took the crowd through a musical tour of the Air Forces’ history, featuring the United States Air Force Band, with performances by Airmen of Note, Max Impact, Celtic Aire, and Strolling Strings, as well as an aerial flyover and special appearance by the U. S. Air Force Honor Guard Drill Team.

“Tonight, we honor the millions of Airmen who have served this nation,” said Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson. “This concert has been about our heritage and the price we have [paid].”

The Air Force grew out of the Army Air Corps, and numbered over 2.6 million personnel with nearly 80,000 aircraft in 1944. Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein said he was proud of the heritage on which the Air Force is built.

“Ladies and gentlemen, if you say something can’t be done, there’s a good chance an Airman is doing it,” Goldfein said. “If our motto wasn’t ‘Aim High!’ and somebody hadn’t already grabbed it – it might be ‘Bring It!’”

There was a time when no one believed manned flight was achievable. However, in 1903, as those thoughts were published in the New York Times, the Wright brothers were securing their legacy and the nation's legacy in powered flight.

“We embrace a culture of innovation and dare to break barriers,” Goldfein said. “It should come as no surprise that Airmen are known for taking challenges and turning them into opportunities … quite simply, it’s in our DNA.”

The concert was the first of four scheduled Heritage to Horizons performances at the memorial. Future concert dates include June 9, July 7 and Aug. 4.