The Air Force Memorial located in Arlington, Virginia inspired the creation of Three Metallic Spires. The Memorial was formally dedicated to the men and women of the United States Air Force and its heritage organizations on October 14, 2006. Designed by James Ingo Freed, the three spires soar upward to heights approaching 270 feet, producing the image of the "bomb burst" maneuver. The three Air Force core values are associated with the spires – "Integrity first," "Service before self," and "Excellence in all we do." Additionally, the three spires represent the Air Force's total force: active, guard, and reserve. The piece captures both an Americana and dreamy feel with use of open harmonies and expansive melodic lines. The use of orchestra bells, vibraphone, celeste, piano, and harp contribute to an overall metallic orchestral timbre. The conclusion of the piece includes three ascending scale-type passages representing each of the three metallic spires reaching toward the heavens.