Labour is today calling on the Government to lead a national effort to construct a national memorial to commemorate the conflict in Afghanistan.
After the fatalities, injuries and level of patriotic commitment shown by our Armed Forces it is only right that their efforts and sacrifices are forever remembered, both for their families and the whole country.
Labour supports offering the public an opportunity to provide ideas on the what form the memorial should take. All innovative ideas on how to make a meaningful memorial which will engage the service communities, military families and the public should be welcome. The process of deciding the design of the memorial can itself be a way of the country engaging with our Forces’ contribution to Afghanistan. A panel, perhaps led by the Chief of the Defence Staff, Prime Minister and leading Service Charities, could judge the final memorial design.
A national, government-led fundraising effort should fund the memorial, alongside funds from the Community Covenant grant scheme.
Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary, said:
"It is essential there is meaningful commemoration of our Forces’ painful sacrifice in Afghanistan.
"This must be a national memorial that the whole nation feels part of. The public should be involved from the start so that they can show their sympathy and solidarity. Everyone should have the chance to offer their ideas and insights so we get a truly brilliant memorial.
"I hope the Prime Minister will personally oversee the project.
"Those who give their lives will never be forgotten by their families, and it is right their names live publicly forever."