Heritage Trail at Doolittle Hall
The AOG's Heritage Trail: Celebrating the lives and accomplishments of the Long Blue Line
As part of the AOG's continued efforts to promote the heritage of the Academy, the Heritage Trail, located on the grounds adjacent to Doolittle Hall, is taking shape.
The additions of the Class of 1959 Challenge Bridge, Class of 1970 Southeast Asia Memorial Pavilion and replica of the War Memorial, plus pedestals that recognize Academy Distinguished Graduate Award winners complement the existing plaques from other classes and natural setting of the trail, further promoting its purpose.
"The Class of 1960 has built this walkway to pave the way for future generations of cadets to leave their footprint on our nation's history and on our Academy's heritage," reads a plaque along the path to Doolittle Hall that all appointees pass.
The trail, which serves as a visual reminder of the lives and accomplishments of the Academy's proud Long Blue Line, is an important part of each year's inprocessing.
Members of each new class arrive for inprocessing to begin their Academy journey. Fittingly, the appointees' day begins at Doolittle Hall, home of the Association of Graduates. After saying good-byes to their accompanying family and friends, the appointees officially enter the United States Air Force Academy as members of the next class.
Before loading into the buses waiting to take the appointees up to the cadet area, the soon-to-be Basic Cadets walked through the Heritage Trail a tradition initiated by the AOG.
Impressive as it is, the current trail comprises a small portion of the grander vision of the Heritage Trail along a forested and paved pathway.
The vision for the Heritage Trail includes a memorial park, which will eventually include statues and other elements recognizing Academy graduates. The trail, in contrast to other landmarks, does not include sculptures of airplanes, jets and machinery. The Class of 1989 has established a memorial to Kevin Shea, killed in combat in Iraq, September 2004, emphasizing "Valor." Other opportunities are available to those wishing to participate.
While honoring the legacy of the Long Blue Line, the Heritage Trail will provide a rich opportunity for graduate classes to directly contribute to the Academy by sponsoring a portion of the trail through their class giving program. Private support continues to allow the Academy to reach new levels of excellence and has a direct impact on each cadet. Gifts also allow graduates, parents and friends to leave a legacy at the Academy, which for many has played an important role in shaping their lives.