On Thursday, June 11, 2015, His Royal Highness Prince Harry of Wales attended the unveiling of the Bastion Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, England.
According to Kensington Palace during today’s event the popular prince:
“…paid tribute to British service personnel killed on combat operations in Afghanistan saying they ‘will forever be in our hearts’ as he unveiled a memorial to their sacrifice.
Dedicating the Bastion Memorial, inscribed with the 453 names of those killed, he said: ‘As we sit here amongst friends, we can take comfort in the knowledge that they gave their lives doing a job they loved, for a country they loved, and amongst mates who loved them dearly.’
He added: ‘Once this ceremony is ended and all the trappings of the day have been cleared away, this will become a place of pilgrimage, a quiet space for remembrance just as it was in Camp Bastion, all those miles away.’
The simple monument at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, bears the names of all the personnel who fell during the UK’s 13-year involvement in the conflict.
Its simple granite construction bears 12 name plates inscribed recording the fallen, and to its front is a great stone plinth topped with a shining cross made from old brass shell casings.
The name plates and cross were among several parts of the old memorial wall, itself built by British soldiers at Camp Bastion as the conflict raged on about them, now incorporated into the new memorial.
Inside its speckled stonework, though, and hidden from view is a heart-shaped diamond pendant placed there by the builders while the new memorial was being constructed.”