The design of the Air Force Memorial symbolizes flight and the flying spirit with three stainless steel spires that soar 270 feet high and represent contrails of the Air Force Thunderbirds as they disperse in a "bomb burst" maneuver. The United States Air Force "star" is embedded in granite beneath the spires. The Memorial also has a paved Runway to Glory at the entrance, an 8 foot tall bronze Honor Guard statue, two granite inscription walls, and a Glass Contemplation Wall for visitors to pay tribute to fallen airmen.
The United States Air Force Memorial was designed by James Ingo Freed. The project was funded almost entirely by private contributions of more than $30 million.