The new Air Force Memorial in the Washington area cost $30 million and took 15 years from inception to completion. Until now, the Air Force was the only branch of the U.S. military withoout a memorial.
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It's been nearly 15 years in the making, but the United States Air Force finally has a memorial to call its own. Workers have been putting the finishing touches on the more-than-$30-million project, which commands a hill above Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery, with striking views of the Pentagon and the nation's Capitol.
Ross Perot, Jr., son of billionaire Ross Perot, led a private foundation composed of Air Force veterans and other supporters that saw the project to fruition.
ROSS PEROT, Chair, Air Force Memorial Foundation:
We truly have the high ground above our nation's Capitol, which is what the Air Force defends, always the high ground.
An Air Force Reserve veteran, Perot says a Washington-area memorial to the service was long overdue. The Marines have their iconic Iwo Jima memorial; the Navy is represented by a more understated commemoration; and Army personnel are honored at several war memorials across the city.
It's important, because 54,000 men and women have died in serving their country for the United States Air Force. Millions of Americans have served in the United States Air Force. We're here to honor the men and women who have served for our country, that have died for our country.