Sunday, October 15, 2006
United States veterans and their family members gathered in Washington for the unveiling of a $30 million Air Force Memorial. The memorial, which opens to the public on Tuesday, took nearly 15 years of effort to complete and is dedicated to the more than 54,000 airmen who perished while in action. The U.S Air Force was the only branch of the armed forces with no memorial in the Washington area.Many of the veterans and relatives came to Saturday`s ceremony with stories to share. President George W. Bush and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld gave speeches to 1,400 guests on the dedication and history of the U.S. Air Force. The memorial, on a hilltop next to Arlington National Cemetery, is a triumvirate of curved stainless steel spires that soar more than 200 feet in the air.