U.S. Air Force Memorial Soars Over Arlington, Virginia

Air Force Memorial
••• Air Force Memorial. © Peter Gridley/Getty Images

The U.S. Air Force Memorial, honoring the millions of men and women who have served in the U.S. Air Force, was officially dedicated October 14, 2006. This inspiring memorial lies in a prime location in Arlington, Virginia, adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery and overlooking the Pentagon, the Potomac River, and Washington, D.C.

The design of the U.S. Air Force Memorial symbolizes flight and the flying spirit with three stainless steel spires that soar 270 feet high (402 feet above sea level) and represent contrails of the Air Force Thunderbirds as they disperse in a "bomb burst" maneuver.

The U.S. Air Force "star" is embedded in granite beneath the spires. The memorial also has a paved Runway to Glory at the entrance, an 8-foot-tall bronze Honor Guard statue, two granite inscription walls, and a Glass Contemplation Wall for visitors to pay tribute to fallen Air Force service members.

The U.S. Air Force Memorial was designed by James Ingo Freed, the internationally renowned architect who also designed the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. The project was funded almost entirely by private contributions totaling more than $30 million.

A gift shop is in the Administrative Office at the north end of the memorial in the same building as the restrooms. The gift shop is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. except on federal holidays.

Be sure to visit in the summer when the memorial hosts an outdoor concert series.

Location and Transportation Options

One Air Force Memorial Drive, Arlington, VA 22204.

The memorial is located off Columbia Pike near VA-244.

By Metro: It is approximately a one-mile walk to the memorial from the Pentagon Metro station and the Pentagon City Metro station. From the Pentagon station, walk west through the Pentagon South parking lot (Rotary Road). Continue onto Columbia Pike.

Walk up the hill to the memorial entrance on Columbia Pike. 

From the Pentagon City Metro station, walk north on Hayes. Turn left on Army Navy Drive. Turn right on Joyce Street. Cross underneath I-395. Turn left on Columbia Pike. Walk up the hill to the memorial's entrance on Columbia Pike. From Metro, you can transfer to Metrobus #16 and ride it to the Navy Annex, which is located within a short walk of the memorial.

By bus: Take Metrobus #16 to the Navy Annex at Stop ID #6000305. It is approximately one block west of the memorial. The Arlington Transit Bus #42 also stops in front of the Navy Annex. 

Parking: Free limited parking for the memorial is along the left side of the driveway for cars and in the turn-around area for buses.

Hours

April 1 through September 30: 9 a.m.–9 p.m.
October 1 through March 31: 8 a.m.–8 p.m.

Admission and parking are free. The memorial is open every day except Christmas. 

Contact Information

You can call the memorial at 703-462-4093 or email at afmemorial@mail.mil.

Attractions Near the Air Force Memorial