14 June 2018

National Memorial for British Victims of Overseas Terrorism

On the 17th of May my two Sons and I attended the Dedication Service of the National Memorial for British Victims of Overseas Terrorism at the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield.

The Memorial named Still Water was designed by Alison Wilding and Adam Kershaw and completed in December 2017.

Set in a quiet wooded glade in the Arboretum it is a place for those ho have been affected by overseas terrorism to remember and celebrate the lives of all those who have been affected.

The ceremony was led by the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Whelby and attended by many senior government figures. HRH Prince Charles and Duchess of Cornwall also attended with Prince Charles giving the dedication speech. Attended by nearly three hundred guests all with some experiences of the horror of terrorism.

Speaking ahead of the unveiling, Mr Ellwood said: “Today is a day when we remember the lives of those who were tragically taken in terrorist attacks abroad.

“I know from personal experience that in times of pain we must come together to support and help one another.

“This memorial stands as a symbol of our unity against violence and hatred and will be a peaceful space for families to remember their loved ones.”

It is hoped that the memorial, which features seating, will become a place of reflection, remembrance and contemplation for people living with the impact of terrorism.

The Service was very moving and reflective. My Sons and I found it emotional and in a strange way uplifting.

After the service a reception was held where there was an opportunity to talk with the likes of their royal highnesses, Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid, Tobias Ellwood, Jeremy Corbyn and Dpty First Minister John Swinney.

The National Memorial Arboretum is beautiful. The National Memorial Arboretum is the UK’s year-round centre of Remembrance; a spiritually uplifting place which honours the fallen, recognises service and sacrifice, and fosters pride in our country. It is a living and lasting memorial.

Set in 150 acres the Memorials are poignant and often provoke thought.

I would recommend a visit to this superb establishment to everyone.