Sunday, November 05, 2006

U.S. Air Force Memorial

Looming on a bluff overlooking the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery is the new United States Air Force Memorial, which was just unveiled last month. Here's how it fits into the D.C. area's relatively low profile -- between the Capitol and the Jefferson Memorial domes. The design is meant to evoke the "bomb burst maneuver" of the Air Force Thunderbirds, but I think it also looks a lot like the missing man formation, the fly-by salute for a fallen comrade, with the spire at the left zooming upward to a slightly higher peak. I also thought of Brancusi's Bird in Space series. The designer was James Ingo Freed, a partner in I.M. Pei's firm who died last year. He also designed the powerful U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, across the river in the district.

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