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News > Academy to celebrate Cadet Chapel's 50th anniversary
Academy to celebrate Cadet Chapel's 50th anniversary

Posted 9/20/2013   Updated 9/20/2013 Email story   Print story


by 1st Lt. Brandon Baccam
Air Force Academy Public Affairs

9/20/2013 - U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The Academy will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the dedication of its Cadet Chapel Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at the chapel.

"The celebration will highlight not only the legacy of those responsible for building this facility, but will also highlight the religious plurality of America's demography and the Air Force Academy's demography today," said Academy Chaplain Col. Robert Bruno, who will preside over the event.

Special guests include Academy Superintendent Lt. Gen. Michelle Johnson and Air Force Chief of Chaplains, Chaplain (Maj. Gen.) Howard Stendahl, the celebration's keynote speaker.

"I am absolutely delighted that they are going to be here," Bruno said. "It's recognition from their official positions, as the Academy superintendent and the Air Force chief of chaplains, of the importance of the free exercise of religion in the lives of our officer corps and in the mission of producing second lieutenants for the Air Force."

Cadets will read proclamations from Congress, the Colorado Legislature and the Colorado Springs City Council, recognizing the milestone.

The El Paso County Board of Commissioners honored the anniversary with a proclamation earlier this month.

"The 17 soaring spires of the Cadet Chapel are recognized worldwide as symbols of the strength, faith and resolve of the U.S. Air Force," State Commissioner Darryl Glenn said Sept. 10.

The chapel is 150 feet tall, 280 feet long and 84 feet wide. It features 17 spires and is made of aluminum, glass and steel. Recognized as Colorado most popular man-made tourist attraction, the Cadet Chapel hosts 500,000 to 1 million Academy visitors annually. The facility received the American Institute of Architects' National Twenty Five Year Award in 1996 and was also named a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 2004.

Bruno said the Cadet Chapel recognizes the religious plurality of Air Force officers of past and future generations.

"It is also recognition of the importance religion in America's public life has played in the past, plays today, and will continue to play in the future," he said.

The event is free and open to the public. Service dress for military guests and business attire for civilians is encouraged.

A reception with refreshments will immediately follow the celebration on the south end of the Cadet Chapel.

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