Saturday, April 07, 2007

Carlton's log, DC, Air Force Monument


The first night we were in D.C. Thor, his two companions, and I went for a site seeing tour at night. Thor's business associate was our travel guide and driver. We saw all kinds of very interesting sites, made all the more beautiful and striking in the contrast of dark night sky against masterful flood lit masterpieces.

One eluded us. Far off in the distance we saw these beautiful slim silver streams reaching into the black sky. It took us two nights of driving to finally find the exact spot where these arches stood.


I took some photos using my phone and they looked rather good, although I am inept at downloading them. So the following morning I found myself back out at the site and snapping away. The fog that morning gave the monument a special quality. The polished steel looked cold against the grey landscape.


I went back another day to share the sight with Chronicler. That day the monument shone in almost blinding white spots in the rich blue of a clear warm day. This monument is symbolic of the jet stream that follows aircraft. I think it is effective and impacting as you look at it. It takes on a different shape from every view, each step in a direction will change your vision of the piece. Flanked on each end by large black walls, tributes to the men and women of the Air Force are etched on the black marble surface. At one end there is a glass wall with the engraved image of the "Missing Man Formation". Balancing on the other end is a larger than life bronze statue of four men in the colour guard stance.

This is another one not to be missed. In both grey skies and blue it is spectacular.

add to sk*rt

4 comments:

Sarah said...

When did they build these? I lived in D.C. for a while but never saw/heard about them - they really are beautiful. I love the symbolism of the jet stream, it's spot on with the sculptures!

s'mee said...

These were very controvercial and the physics were a challenge as well. Each air stream contains stabilizing cubes within the structures so they don't sway too much in the wind. One is over 300 feet high! They are located near the pentagon, actually on a hill (near the IwoJima Memorial)adjacent to Arlington cementary, right next to an annex on the base.
They were finally completed and open to the public on October 17. 2006. It's open 365 days a year, and frankly, even when it's closed (each time I went it was "closed") you can still walk right up to it and walk all around it, just no docents to give ou info.

chronicler said...

It was my favoritist of all the places we went. Except of course, harold the duck.

s'mee said...

haha! You named him! He was gorgeous! Another interesting note on that monument:

Remember how the brick work and cement seemed to be particularly bare and vast? It is meant to symbolize a runway that draws you toward the monument! I love that!