The Lend-Lease Memorial is the newest addition to the downtown riverfront in Fairbanks. The statue depicts figures of a Russian and American pilot circa WWII, commemorating the strategic and social importance of Alaska as a staging ground in the Lend-Lease program (1942-1945). In the program, nearly 8,000 aircraft and numerous other supplies were ferried to the eastern front from the Lower 48, over Canada and to Ladd Field (now Fort Wainwright, Alaska) where over 300 Russian pilots flew the planes over the Bering Strait and east to Russia. Designed and created by Alaskan sculptor and printmaker, R.T. Wallen, the memorial also commemorates the Women Airline Service Pilots (WASP) who participated in the Lend-Lease program. The ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in August 2006 at the Griffin Park site, where Russian, French, Canadian and American officials gathered to honor the program’s veterans.