dedication of the Armed Forces Memorial

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  1. http://www.gnn.gov.uk/content/detail.asp?NewsAreaID=2&ReleaseID=313789

    Tuesday 11 September 2007 15:36
    Ministry Of Defence (National)


    The impressive new Armed Forces Memorial (AFM) will be dedicated on 12 October 2007. The names of almost 16,000 service men and women, regular and reserve, who have been killed on duty since the end of WWII, are engraved on the vast Portland Stone walls.

    3,000 tickets are now available for the families, friends and colleagues of those named to attend the ceremony, which will be attended by VIPs including senior members of the Royal Family.

    Uniquely, reflected in a centrepiece of evocative bronze sculptures, this memorial also acknowledges the courage of family and friends left behind. Their enduring sacrifice is as great, and their courage as strong, as those they remember.

    HRH The Prince of Wales, Patron of the Armed Forces Memorial Trust, said:

    "We sometimes take for granted the expectation that our Armed Forces are professional, loyal and dedicated. In reality our expectation is far exceeded. These men and women are prepared to give their lives defending our Nation's interests and the freedom of others and yet their sacrifice all too often goes without recognition. I personally believe we owe them all an enormous debt of gratitude for all they do."

    The AFM remembers all those killed on duty and includes members of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) and the Merchant Navy (MN) killed while serving in direct support of HM Forces. It includes those killed in conflicts or on training exercises, by terrorist action or on peacekeeping missions. Through this memorial the Nation will honour the many sacrifices made at home and abroad.

    Vice Admiral Sir John Dunt, Chairman of the AFM Board of Trustees said:

    "Against all the odds, this important memorial is nearing completion. The dedication is an opportunity for the Nation to give due recognition to those who have given their lives and to those whose lives have been changed forever by their loss.

    "It will undoubtedly be a moving event, and a fitting tribute to the memory of all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf since WWII."

    A striking and emotive creation, the memorial will become an iconic structure of national significance, a focus for remembrance that will provide appropriate recognition and thanks for those who have given their lives in the service of their country since the end of WWII, and to the enduring sacrifice of those who mourn their loss.

    Tickets are available by downloading an application form at http://www.forcesmemorial.org.uk or by ringing the ticket hotline 08457 725725

    For further information on the Armed Forces Memorial or to make a donation, visit http://www.forcesmemorial.org.uk or contact the Armed Forces Memorial Trust, First Floor, Zone A, St Georges Court, 2-12 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2SH. Registered charity No: 1100521.

    Notes to Editors:

    To enable as many of those named to be represented as possible, tickets will be allocated proportionally across the six decades with a maximum of two tickets per family.

    1. The dedication is a ticket-only event. To enable as many of those named to be represented as possible, tickets will be allocated proportionally across the six decades with a maximum of two tickets per family.

    2. The Memorial project is managed by a registered charity called the Armed Forces Memorial Trust, whose Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.

    3. The AFM will not be open to the public until 0900 on 29 October 2007.

    4. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission pays tribute to those who died during the two World Wars. However, until the formation of the AFM Trust, there was no national memorial for those who have lost their lives from 1948 onwards.

    5. The Memorial, designed by architect Liam O'Connor, includes three elements: the first being a large six metre high earth mound, 100 metres wide at its base reducing to just over 50 metres wide at the top; the second, a 43 metre diameter stone structure, comprising two curved walls and two straight walls standing on top of the mound; and, the third, evocative bronze sculptures which stand in front of the walls.

    6. The Memorial recognises the enduring sacrifice of those left behind. Two poignant bronze sculptures bear silent witness to the personal cost of armed conflict. Their sculptor, Ian Rank-Broadley, is best known for the effigy of HM The Queen, as seen on coinage since 1998.

    7. The Northern Ireland-based firm of stonemasons, S McConnell & Sons, have engraved the 16,000 names.

    8. The AFM was funded through public subscription. Funds in excess of £6 million have been raised, with substantial contributions from the Millennium Commission (£2.4 million), a Treasury grant (£1.5 million revenue from the Trafalgar coin) and private donations, including many from readers of the Daily Mail and The Sun.

    9. The Memorial is independent. It is not Government funded, nor is it controlled or managed by a veterans' or other organisation. Non-denominational and inclusive, access and use of the Memorial will be administered by the AFM Board of Trustees, who will safeguard equal access to all.

    10. The location, chosen to allow easy access from all corners of the United Kingdom, is within the National Memorial Arboretum (NMA), which is managed by the Royal British Legion. The NMA covers 60 hectares of woodland; it hosts memorials from a range of organisations both military and civilian, charities, local and overseas groups.

    11. The Royal British Legion is providing significant funding for the dedication ceremony on 12 October, and is working closely with the Armed Forces Memorial Trust planning the day's events.

    12. Images of the design of the Armed Forces Memorial are available on request. Please email rolf.kurth311@mod.uk

    13. An Op note detailing the accreditation process for the event will be sent out shortly.

    Contact:

    Ticket hotline 08457 725725