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The Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial in Victoria Embankment Gardens, London
The Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial is a war memorial in London commemorating British citizens who participated in the Gulf War, the Afghanistan War and the Iraq War in the period from 1990 to 2015, both military and civilian.
The memorial was unveiled on 9 March 2017 by Queen Elizabeth II in the presence of the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry of Wales, the Prime Minister Theresa May and her predecessors John Major, Tony Blair and David Cameron.
The memorial is work of the sculptor Paul Day who has designed many other similar monuments.
The memorial consists of two large Portland stone monoliths, weighing 33 tonnes. On one side, one stone is inscribed “Afghanistan” and the other “Iraq”, and on the other side one bears the word “duty” and the other “service”.
Part of the side of each stone is left in a rough condition which is a reference to the rocky terrain of Afghanistan and Iraq.
The stones are separated by a narrow gap and between them a thick bronze medallion sculpted with reliefs depicting members of the armed forces on one side and civilian workers on the other.
The memorial carries no names and commemorates all who served in the conflicts, civilian and military. The Iraq and Afghanistan Memorial is located nearby to other monuments that mark the Second World War and the Korean War.
These kind of memorials in London play an important part in acknowledging the sacrifice of many individuals and providing a focal point for remembrance.
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