Queen unveils new memorial to Iraq and Afghanistan veterans


Blackleaf
#1
A memorial dedicated to those who served in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars has been unveiled by the Queen in central London on Thursday.

The sculpture by Paul Day also marks the contribution made by civilians in the conflicts. It is formed of two stone monoliths and a bronze medallion.

Its unveiling in Victoria Embankment Gardens followed a service for 2,500 veterans on Horse Guards Parade.

Iraq and Afghanistan wars memorial unveiled


BBC News
9 March 2017



A memorial dedicated to those who served in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars has been unveiled by the Queen in central London on Thursday.

The sculpture by Paul Day also marks the contribution made by civilians in the conflicts. It is formed of two stone monoliths and a bronze medallion.

Its unveiling in Victoria Embankment Gardens followed a service for 2,500 veterans on Horse Guards Parade.

More than 800 UK military personnel and civilians died in the three wars:

  • Forty-seven members of the armed forces died in Iraq in the 1990-91 conflict
  • 179 were killed in the second Iraq war from 2003-09
  • and 456 died in Afghanistan between 2001-14
  • In addition, 43 UK civilians were killed in the second Iraq war
  • and 101 in Afghanistan


Before the unveiling the Queen and other members of the Royal Family attended a "drumhead" service - a religious service held in the field of battle which uses drums as an improvised altar - with veterans and other guests.

Prince Harry served in the Army for 10 years, including two tours of Afghanistan. Prince William served in the armed forces for eight years.

The guests included current service personnel, veterans, civil servants and charity workers.

A small ceremony was held in the gardens for the unveiling itself and was relayed to screens on Horse Guards.


The Queen, Prince Philip, Prime Minister Theresa May, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon are among those in attendance today


Prince Harry served in the Army for 10 years


The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge also paid tribute to the military and civilians who lost their lives in conflicts


The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall at the war memorial dedication Credit: Tim Rooke/REX/Shutterstock


Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, the Princess Royal and the Duke of York at the event Credit: Jonathan Brady /PA

The 1m monument was funded by a campaign by the Sun on Sunday newspaper.

Mark Collins, a former RAF wing commander who did two tours of Afghanistan, said the memorial would be a focal point where people could reflect on the good that went on overseas as well as the sadness.

He said he would remember a US marine from his team who was killed by a suicide bomber, leaving a physical absence in the team as well as frustration and anger for his loss.

He would also be thinking about friends and colleagues who returned from war with physical and mental illnesses, and their families having to cope, he added.

"It's important that we remember and reflect so we don't go down those roads again and we learn the lessons," he told the BBC.

Sculptor Paul Day also created the Battle of Britain monument, which stands nearby on the Embankment, the Queen Mother's memorial statue on The Mall, and the Meeting Place - the sculpture of an embracing couple which greets Eurostar arrivals from across the Channel at London's St Pancras station.

This design consists of two large stone monoliths which appear to support a bronze medallion.

The Portland stone, quarried from under Portland's cricket pitch, weighs 33 tonnes.

The stone is finely carved on three sides but left jagged and rough hewn on one, he said: "To suggest the harsh, dry, rocky and difficult terrains of the two countries but also to suggest how the outcomes of both campaigns is not fully resolved, that there was much division within the British people over them."

However, people were united, he added, in support of "what the military and civilians did, in putting themselves in harm's way, securing British lives and improving the lives of Iraqi and Afghan civilians".


Sculptor Paul Day hopes he has produced a "fine piece of art" for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice


The memorial commemorates the work of civilians, as well as the military


Paul Day is also behind the Battle of Britain monument, which was unveiled in 2005 on the Victoria Embankment in central London

"An awful lot of amazing stuff has been done and is still being done despite the controversies that have dogged the nation."

He said he wanted to create something contemporary in the 19ft (almost 6m) structure to reflect the most recent of UK military campaigns and hoped to have made a "fine piece of art" for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

"When we unveil it, I want to be able to say I'd put as much thought and effort as possible into the project; to do justice to the price that was paid and to create a memorial that will stand tall in years to come, for future generations, to remember all that was done," he said.

Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon said the memorial would "stand as a permanent reminder of the contribution and sacrifice that so many members of our Armed Forces, aid workers and civilian personnel made towards the security of the United Kingdom and the interests of Iraq and Afghanistan".

The Ministry of Defence said it honoured the duty and service of British citizens, including those who worked on the humanitarian side of operations.

Analysis: Were bereaved families snubbed?

By BBC correspondent Nick Higham


The event has been overshadowed by a row over the failure to include the families of the 682 service personnel who died in Iraq and Afghanistan among the 2,500 invited to the ceremony.

One widow of a soldier killed in Afghanistan said they had been snubbed; another called the decision completely crass.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron called on the prime minister to apologise for what he called a careless oversight.

Mrs May said charities and groups representing the bereaved had been asked to put forward names of attendees.

But the chairman of the War Widows Association told the BBC that while she'd been invited herself she'd not been asked to nominate others, and that the Ministry of Defence should have contacted all the families involved directly.

The MoD disputes her account, saying 10 per cent of tickets for the event were allocated to bereaved family groups, including the War Widows Association, who were asked to suggest attendees.

The MoD says it has also been proactively contacting those who have expressed concerns to personally invite them.

The government points out that the memorial is intended to commemorate all those who served, not just those who died.

Iraq and Afghanistan wars memorial unveiled - BBC News
Last edited by Blackleaf; Mar 9th, 2017 at 07:24 AM..
 
tay
#2
I'm sure the "More than 800 UK military personnel and civilians died" for Oil are really impressed........
 
Blackleaf
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by tay View Post

I'm sure the "More than 800 UK military personnel and civilians died" for Oil are really impressed........

Me too. I'm sure they and their families will love it, as will the nation (and there's no evidence the UN-backed Afghanistan War, or the Iraq War, were about oil).
 
tay
#4
Quote: Originally Posted by Blackleaf View Post

Me too. I'm sure they and their families will love it, as will the nation (and there's no evidence the UN-backed Afghanistan War, or the Iraq War, were about oil).

So what do you think it's about.........?
 
Blackleaf
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by tay View Post

So what do you think it's about.........?

Well the key aims for the Afghanistan War were to dismantle Al-Qaeda and remove the Taliban from power.

The Iraq War's key aim was to topple the tyrant Saddam Hussein.
 

Similar Threads

0
Queen Mother memorial planned
by Blackleaf | May 18th, 2007