Workers set the first piece of the U.S. Air Force Memorial in Arlington [Tuesday], marking the beginning of construction of a monument to the only military branch without a symbolic shrine in the D.C. area.There are several monuments to individual Army divisions and leaders, but I don't know where there's a generic "Army" memorial in the D.C. area and the article does not identify one.
For more information, check out the Air Force Memorial Foundation.
The focal point of the more than $30 million memorial will be three massive spires that overlook the Pentagon, next to Arlington National Cemetery, east of the Navy Annex.
The memorial's site -- which will include a "runway" to the monument, inscription walls, an honor-guard sculpture and a glass contemplation wall -- became a subject of disagreement between rival military branches in recent years.
The National Park Service, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts and the National Capital Planning Commission originally approved plans for a 50-foot-high Air Force star to stand about 600 feet south of the Iwo Jima Memorial and northeast of the Netherlands Carillon, in a wooded area on Arlington Ridge, according to the memorial foundation's Web site.
But complaints by current and former Marines, including several members of Congress, that the Air Force memorial intruded on the Iwo Jima shrine prompted the service chiefs of the two branches to agree to move the site.
Congress then authorized placement of the memorial at its current location -- just off Interstate 395, on Columbia Pike in Arlington -- in the 2002 defense authorization bill.
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