Air Force Memorial

Northern Virginia

Overlooking the Pentagon and adjacent to Arlington National Cemetery, three graceful stainless-steel arcs soar 270ft into the air. This shimmering memorial – meant to evoke the contrails of jets – pays tribute to the millions of men and women who served in the air force and its predecessor organizations.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Virginia attractions

1. Pentagon Memorial


At this tranquil memorial, 184 illuminated benches honor each man, woman and child killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon,…

2. DEA Museum


The propaganda is served up with nary a chuckle at this heavy-handed museum brought to you by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Exhibits cover the last…

3. Pentagon

0.57 MILES

South of Arlington Cemetery is the Pentagon, the largest office building in the world and the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, the Army, Navy…

4. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

0.64 MILES

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier contains the remains of unidentified US service members from both World Wars and the Korean War. Military guards maintain…

5. Challenger Memorial

0.73 MILES

This monument commemorates the seven crew members of the Challenger space shuttle, which exploded a few seconds after take off in 1986.

6. USS Maine Memorial

0.73 MILES

One of the most striking monuments in Arlington is the long main mast of the USS Maine. More than 200 US sailors died when it was sunk by explosion in…

7. Confederate Memorial


This controversial 10m-high monument pays respects to the Confederate war dead. Some 32 life-size figures surround a cylindrical mount.

8. Kennedy Gravesites

0.93 MILES

An eternal flame flickers beside this simple but moving gravesite – the final resting place for President John F Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis…