HomeNewsArticle Display

President, military leaders dedicate Air Force Memorial

On behalf of all American citizens President George W. Bush accepts the Air Force Memorial from Air Force Memorial Foundation Chairman  Ross Perot Jr. during a dedication ceremony at its Arlington, Va. location overlooking the Pentagon on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006. Looking on are, from left: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley. Designed by the late James Ingo Freed the memorial with its three soaring spires inspired by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds bomb burst manuever, pays tribute to and honors the patriotic men and women of the U.S. Air Force and its predeccessor organizations. An open house will run near the Pentagon in conjunction with the dedication ceremony which will feature performances by the U.S. Air Force Band, the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard drill team, and will culminate with a concert featuring country music performer LeeAnn Womack. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cohen Young)

On behalf of all American citizens President George W. Bush accepts the Air Force Memorial from Air Force Memorial Foundation Chairman Ross Perot Jr. during a dedication ceremony at its Arlington, Va. location overlooking the Pentagon on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006. Looking on are, from left: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley. Designed by the late James Ingo Freed the memorial with its three soaring spires inspired by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds bomb burst manuever, pays tribute to and honors the patriotic men and women of the U.S. Air Force and its predeccessor organizations. An open house will run near the Pentagon in conjunction with the dedication ceremony which will feature performances by the U.S. Air Force Band, the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard drill team, and will culminate with a concert featuring country music performer LeeAnn Womack. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cohen Young)

On behalf of all American citizens President George W. Bush accepts the Air Force Memorial during a dedication ceremony at its Arlington, Va. location overlooking the Pentagon on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006. Looking on are, from left: Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley and  Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne. Designed by the late James Ingo Freed the memorial with its three soaring spires inspired by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds bomb burst manuever, pays tribute to and honors the patriotic men and women of the U.S. Air Force and its predeccessor organizations. An open house will run near the Pentagon in conjunction with the dedication ceremony which will feature performances by the U.S. Air Force Band, the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard drill team, and will culminate with a concert featuring country music performer LeeAnn Womack. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cohen Young)

On behalf of all American citizens President George W. Bush accepts the Air Force Memorial during a dedication ceremony at its Arlington, Va. location overlooking the Pentagon on Saturday, Oct. 14, 2006. Looking on are, from left: Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. T. Michael Moseley and Secretary of the Air Force Michael W. Wynne. Designed by the late James Ingo Freed the memorial with its three soaring spires inspired by the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds bomb burst manuever, pays tribute to and honors the patriotic men and women of the U.S. Air Force and its predeccessor organizations. An open house will run near the Pentagon in conjunction with the dedication ceremony which will feature performances by the U.S. Air Force Band, the U.S. Air Force Honor Guard drill team, and will culminate with a concert featuring country music performer LeeAnn Womack. (U.S. Air Force photo/Tech. Sgt. Cohen Young)

WASHINGTON (AFPN) -- On behalf of a grateful nation, the president of the United States accepted the Air Force Memorial in a dedication ceremony here attended by military leaders of the past and present, political and business representatives and thousands of ordinary citizens and Airmen alike.

"A Soldier can walk the battlefields where he once fought," said President George W. Bush. "A Marine can walk the beaches he once stormed, but an Airman can never visit the patch of sky he raced across to defend freedom. And so it is fitting that from this day forward, the men and women of the Air Force will have this memorial."

The ceremony was the highlight of a daylong open house event that attracted thousands of people from around the country to the south parking lot of the Pentagon. Huge screens were put up which allowed the visitors in the parking lot to view the dedication ceremony, which took place at the base of the memorial.

That crowd included H. Ross Perot and his son, H. Ross Perot Jr., who is chairman of the Air Force Memorial Foundation, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Also in attendance were former chiefs of staff of the Air Force, secretaries of the Air Force, chief master sergeants of the Air Force, Air Force Medal of Honor recipients and their families.

Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Rodney J. McKinley spoke at the event, saying he was deeply honored to be a part of it. He reflected on the Airmen who serve today, and their connection to the dedicated Airmen who served in the past.

"We have the most powerful air, space and cyberspace force in the world," he said. "This is a long overdue tribute to all those who are a part of this ongoing cycle of dedicated and talented Americans who service in the Air Force."

The Air Force Band performed several pieces while a video was shown with clips from pilots climbing into World War II bombers to modern-day Airmen working in the sands of Iraq.

Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. T. Michael Moseley spoke of several Airmen who made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. He read an excerpt from a letter sent by Senior Airman Jason Cunningham, an Air Force parajumper with the Special Forces to his wife, Theresa, before he was killed in combat in Afghanistan in 2002.

"As if aware of his impending death, he wrote, 'I'll die a happy man doing the job I love'," read General Moseley. "Those are the words of a true PJ, and it speaks volumes of his commitment and dedication. We honor him with this memorial, as well as the countless others who are like him."

Several aircraft, ranging from World War One bi-planes to today's stealth bombers and fighters, flew over the crowd and memorial in chronological order, providing visual evidence of the evolution of military flight.

The ceremony ended with a demonstration from the Thunderbirds, who buzzed the crowd before doing the bomb-burst formation, which inspired the design of the three-spires of the memorial.

"We commemorate today the courage of the men and women who wear the Air Force blue," said President Bush. "We remember those who gave their lives for their fellow Americans. We mourn their loss, we pray for their families and we consecrate their legacy here today."

Engage

Twitter
Congratulations, MSgt Roslyn Ball! Ball credits the mentorship and bonds she’s shared with her fellow military tra… https://t.co/z4QZhr8Pek
Twitter
A passion for aviation and space A1C Sourav Basu Roy, an air transportation specialist assigned to the 482nd Fight… https://t.co/hd6hdkYpIa
Twitter
Joint training Two U.S. Air Force B-52H Stratofortress aircraft participated in “Brother’s Shield,” a Colombian Ai… https://t.co/DErzNXkFQM
Twitter
#SundayRead SSgt Elizabeth McJannet-Bratton was crowned Miss Alaska Collegiate 2021; her platform, Combat Boots to… https://t.co/v99jOVmOkZ
Twitter
Celebrating service @USArmy retired Maj. Anthony Grant has given 45 years of service between the Army and Air Forc… https://t.co/Yzz8IWbaXM
Twitter
#AimHigh! TSgt Kayla Castagnetta helps Airmen deploy and creates them as well. She is the only qualified Airman wh… https://t.co/Xg7Z1GErZ4
Twitter
In today’s competency-based approach to Force Development, the #USAF will now be able to capture an Airman’s knowle… https://t.co/Uem2kWikrw
Twitter
Because the 97th Air Mobility Wing’s focus is on training mobility Airmen, the intel flight generates training miss… https://t.co/PG4doMIqvO
Twitter
Col David S. Miller, 377th Air Base Wing commander, recognizes the contributions of Native Americans in honor of Am… https://t.co/8wYjxE8iWO
Twitter
'Tis the season ❄️ Special warfare Airmen conduct training at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska. The small… https://t.co/SGjNKpNdYf
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: ICYMI: F16s from @Spangdahlem_AB are in the @CENTCOM AoR as part of a dynamic force employment to deter aggression & promote…
Twitter
Air power on display. https://t.co/M5SUj3Gq9K
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: USAFCENT invests $3 million to upgrade its Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid AB, Qatar. The CAOC also touted its dis…
Twitter
Global reach A B-52 Stratofortress flies in formation with F-16 Fighting Falcons and F-15E Strike Eagles during a… https://t.co/nw1bwI08gH
Twitter
The record scoring provides objective data for more informative assignment placement, hiring for special duty posit… https://t.co/zynYnvbMaC
Twitter
Updating training to better prepare future leaders Squadron Officer School's new curriculum challenges students to… https://t.co/pcbCqVbQ4F
Twitter
What are you having for dinner? 🍗 This Thanksgiving, we are thankful for our Airmen and families who make sacrifi… https://t.co/ID1vU6CWkH
Twitter
Looking to the future The Arnold Engineering Development Complex at Arnold AFB, Tennessee, is leading the way for… https://t.co/uPDfihgdmq
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,313,881
Follow Us