Queen unveils new forces memorial
Video available from BBC here
The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh and the Prince of Wales have attended the dedication of the new national Armed Forces Memorial.
The £6m stone circle in Alrewas, Staffordshire, bears the names of 16,000 service personnel who have died since World War II.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams led prayers at the event.
He said the memorial was about naming the "invisible" ready to risk their lives for the country and world.
The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were also at the ceremony. They were accompanied by military dignitaries.
There is room for 15,000 more names to be carved on the Portland stone walls of the memorial, at the National Memorial Arboretum.
Vice-Admiral Sir John Dunt, chairman of the Armed Forces Memorial Trustees, opened the ceremony with a speech in which he spoke of the sorrow and pride of the families of the deceased.
He said: "I hope that those who have been bereaved and colleagues of those whose names are engraved find this a fitting place to remember and reflect.
"There will be sorrow for family and friends who come here, but I hope they will also be uplifted and proud - proud that these men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice have done so by serving their country."
Dr Williams spoke of the importance of memorials.
He said: "All the service and skill that keeps us secure may be invisible a lot of the time, but if we are not to be dishonest, shallow and unreal, we need to make the invisible visible once in a while.
"And that's what today is about. Naming all those who have been ready to risk everything for the good of our national community and, indeed, the good of our world.
"Some of them have died in heroic circumstances, some in tragedy and conflict, some in routine duties but all of them as parts of a single, great and generous enterprise."
Five-year-old Alex Wall from Norfolk inspects the memorial. He wears the medals of his father, Warrant Officer Colin Wall of the Royal Military Police, who was killed in Iraq in 2003.
The royal party was joined at the event by politicians including Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The memorial, designed by architect Liam O'Connor, honours those killed in combat and training as well as in acts of terrorism.
The ceremony was followed by a flypast of Royal Air Force aircraft from across different decades.
During the consultation period, prior to the memorial's creation, a decision was taken to make it accessible to all communities in the UK, and the central location of Staffordshire was chosen.
The royal party toured the memorial and met the families of service personnel.
'Beautiful and tranquil'
Maureen Norton's brother, Terence Griffin, was on leave from service in Northern Ireland when he was killed by a bomb which exploded on a coach carrying service personnel on the M62 motorway in 1974.
The 54-year-old, from Wigan, Greater Manchester, was introduced to the Queen, Prince Philip, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall.
She said: "This means an awful lot to me. It means his name has been recognised, along with all the other names.
"Even though I will remember him every day, I can come to this beautiful place. It's so tranquil. I can lay flowers by his name. I feel very proud to be here."
Theresa Evans (left) and Anne Lawrence meet for the first time after finding the names of their sons, who died within 24 hours each other in Iraq.
During the tour, the Queen took a moment to examine the name of the Earl Mountbatten, her cousin, who was killed by a Provisional IRA bomb in 1979.
Prince Charles said the people of the UK owed those whose names featured on the memorial "an enormous debt of gratitude".
He said: "The magnificence of this new memorial will, at long last, provide a fitting recognition for all those killed on duty since the end of the Second World War.
"It does not differentiate between those killed in the heat of battle or on a training exercise, by terrorist action or on peace-keeping missions."
The memorial will open to visitors on 29 October.
Queen begins visit by meeting Virginia Tech survivors
The Windsor-Bush Bloodline
Bomb Was UNDER The Train Says Eyewitness Closest To It
Prince Charles Is Of the Same Bloodline As Vlad the Impaler, a.k.a. Dracula
Strange island: Pacific tribesmen come to study Britain
"The Queen" : Why Movies Lie
Obelisks in the UK - Cleopatra's Needle
Latest News from our Front Page
Pressure from the United Patriots Front Stops Mosque Plan
Pressure from the United Patriots Front appears to have killed off a mosque development in Narre Warren North.
The City of Casey council now looks likely to withhold planning approval for the development in a special meeting set for Tuesday night.
A council report, to be considered by councillors on Tuesday, recommends that the approval be blocked.
The mosque opponents’ cause has been helped by councillor ...
Police face questions over the influence of the Freemasons
South Yorkshire Police today face questions over whether powerful 'secret society' the Freemasons held sway over the force at the time of Hillsborough.
Families of victims say that officers who were Masons were promoted into powerful positions despite being ill-equipped, including match commander David Duckenfield.
Duckenfield told the fresh inquests he had been a Freemason since 1975 and became head of his ...
England Bans its Own Flag to Avoid Offending Muslims
St. George's Cross "racist" towards immigrants
Government officials said their city was ‘too multicultural’ to celebrate St George’s Day, England’s version of the 4th of July.
The council said that displaying the English flag may have been seen as “racist” towards immigrants.
Half of Western European men descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’
Half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’ who sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe, a new study has shown.
The monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, is likely to have been one of the earliest chieftains to take power in the continent.
He was part of a new order which emerged in ...
"Local Residents" Are Filmed Stealing Dozens of Bottles of Water at London Marathon Stop
Editor's Comment: "Local" residents? Why bother blurring their faces? We know who they are.
London marathon runners were robbed of dozens of bottled waters when thieves raided a refreshment area armed with trolleys during today's race.
Nearby residents - including parents with children - were captured on camera piling up crates of free water handed out by volunteers during the 26-mile event.
|More News » |