The Rhode Island Air Force Memorial will honor the service of Air Force veterans, members serving and deceased and, those of its predecessor service, the Army Air Corp. The Memorial will be located at a place of honor at the Rhode Island Veterans Cemetery at the intersection of the main road and its first cross road leading to the WWII Memorial and the cemetery’s Memorial Wall. A formal groundbreaking was held on June 11, 2017 at the RI Veterans Cemetery in Exeter, RI.
The State of Rhode Island, Division of Veterans Affairs maintains a dignified and solemn military cemetery on 265 acres at 301 South Country Trail in Exeter, Rhode Island. The grounds of the cemetery are beautifully maintained and include 31 monuments dedicated to veterans of specific wars and conflicts except that currently, there is no monument dedicated to the Air Force. The Rhode Island Regional Squadron, SAFBVA, had dedicated itself to correcting that omission.
As illustrated on the following graphic, the memorial will consist of an eight foot high granite monument, with an eagle positioned at the top, located to the rear and mounted on an Air Force gray concrete pad. The monument will bear the Air Force crest below which shall be engraved the Air Force pledge, “ Integrity First, Service Before Self and, Excellence In All We Do”. Following the Pledge shall be inscribed, “Dedicated to United States Air Force Veterans”. The gray concrete pad will be 18 x 16 ft. A modern Air Force Wings Emblem, inlaid in blue stone with the words” U.S. AIR FORCE” in a semi-circle in front of it, will be positioned proportionally centered in front of the monument.
To the right and left and slightly to the front of the Air Force emblem will be two light colored granite tablets, each positioned to face towards the monument. Each tablet will be four feet tall at its highest point and tapered to three feet. On their tapered faces, one pedestal will bear the Hap Arnold crest with the Air Force heritage listed down the face and on the other pedestal, the Air Force symbol, normally found on the wings of airplanes, will be engraved with The Airman’s Creed listed down its face.
The memorial was designed by Mr. Tim Lyons, Lincoln, Rhode Island.