By Senior Airman Mercedes Porter, 7th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 23, 2020
The Dyess Memorial Park is located next to the Dyess Heritage Museum in Abilene, Texas, Oct. 21, 2020. The memorial won the 2020 Air Force Design Honor Award in the Landscape Architecture category. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mercedes Porter)
A sunbeam shines onto the Dyess Memorial Park in Abilene, Texas, Oct. 21, 2020. The memorial won the 2020 Air Force Design Honor Award in the Landscape Architecture category. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Mercedes Porter)
The Dyess Memorial Park has been awarded the 2020 Air Force Design Honor Award in the Landscape Architecture category at Dyess Air Force Base, Texas, Oct. 14, 2020.
The Honor award is the highest achievement among the three levels in the United States Air Force Design Awards Program, with the intent of the awards to set the benchmark of design excellence that the Air Force expects for all its facilities and installations.
“The Dyess Memorial Park’s recognition as the best landscape architecture in the Air Force is a testament not only to the outstanding design work of the team involved, but to the tremendous support offered day to day by the City of Abilene,” said Col. Matthew Newell, 7th Bomb Wing vice commander. “We are very grateful to have a community like Abilene which stands behind and supports all Dyess Airmen.”
The Abilene community raised over $600,000 for the 10-month construction and also designed the memorial for the fallen. The juror for the 2020 Honor Award commented that the memorial’s use of local stone, natural grasses blending with the surrounding environment, orientation of the site and detailed calculations of the sun positions were complemented by the quality of craftsmanship and long term life cycle efficiency and maintenance.
“This memorial is something our community is incredibly proud of,” said Gray Bridwell, Military Affairs vice president. “This pays tribute to the men and women who have sacrificed it all for our freedoms while reinforcing the commitment our Abilene community has for those who serve our country.”
The memorial was built to honor 79 Dyess Airmen and civilians who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty and acts as a sundial that highlights the plaque of each memorial during their last hour.
“Dyess Memorial Park’s designation as a 2020 USAF Design Awards Program ‘Honor Award’ recipient is well-deserved and bears further testament to the tremendous spirit of Abilene and its unparalleled partnership with the base,” said Col. James Young, 317th Airlift Wing commander. “For some, the Memorial Park represents a contemplative setting to honor the service and sacrifice of our Airmen. But for the 317th Airlift Wing and the family members of our fallen comrades, Dyess Memorial Park is hallowed ground that constitutes a tangible link to dear friends, cherished loved ones, and brothers and sisters in arms. We are most grateful to our teammates in the 7th Bomb Wing, the Military Affairs Committee, and the City of Abilene for all they do in support of our Airmen, their families, and the combat airlift mission.”