Labour announces campaign for “National Memorial” to commemorate Afghan war

25th April, 2013 1:52 pm

The party have today called on the Government to “lead a national effort” to build a National War in commemoration of the war in Afghanistan, and the fatalities and injuries suffered by British Armed Forces.

Announcing the campaign, Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy 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.”

  • AlanGiles

    A sacrifice, Murphy, that would not have needed to be made if Tony Blair hadn’t been so keen on being George Bush’s poodle and going off to war yet again. If only the soft politicians who make such decisions had to fight themselves, they would be a lot less keen on warfare.

    • i_bid

      Yep, and lets erect some more symbolism to paper over those sacrifices. Makes you sick, doesn’t it?

    • dave stone

      And the reprehensible Murphy will deliver more of the same* – if he gets the chance. At least, unlike previous disasters, we have been forewarned.


    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      With respect, Alan, are you not able to separate your views on Tony Blair, with having some respect and feeling for those who died in the service of their country?

      I completely support Jim Murphy’s idea. I hope that there is a national memorial to those soldiers who did not choose to go there, but went because their country sent them. We will never know, maybe some did leave the Army because of personal political opposition to the national policy to Afghanistan, and that is their right. Maybe some went, with misgivings. But those that did serve and die there should not be forgotten because the policy was possibly wrong.

      As for Afghanistan itself, my thoughts are that after 9/11, and the knowledge that Al Qaeda were hosted there by the Afghan Government, what did you expect the Americans to do? They behaved remarkably normally: gave the Afghans an ultimatum to eject Al-Qaeda, when they did not they evicted the Taliban Government and Al-Qaeda by force. Since then, they have been involved in a possibly “unwinnable” battle. If you look at the casualty numbers, it was only after the war in Iraq started in 2003- a completely separate matter – that the Taliban returned to fight in Afghanistan.

      I feel that Iraq was a battle unwisely entered into on a probably false premise, but that does not stop me from thinking that Afghanistan was a “just” intervention. And indeed, for the same reasons as in my second paragraph, I would also support a memorial to our soldiers who died in Iraq.

      • AlanGiles

        Jaime. I am not blaming the service personnel in any way whatsoever. They were only doing what they were ordered to do – thanks to that big girls blouse of an effette Prime Minister we had at the time – and Murphy is as war-minded as his master was.

        If it is left to the likes of Murphy, sadly there will be many more casualties in other parts of the world thanks to his determination to “intervene”

  • Mark Myword

    I’m not sure about this. Already we have memorials in virtually every community – on my local cenotaph we already have the name of a local squaddy who lost his life in Afghanistan. He together with all the others so recorded, is remembered every November by the local community within which he lived and where his relatives still live. I am not sure why Afghanistan rather than, say, Iraq should call for this initiative.

  • FMcGonigal

    I hope we can also commemorate the fatalities and injuries suffered by civilians.

  • Daniel Speight

    Government and shadow defense ministers should be embedded in front line units for a minimum period of six months. Probably be good if prime ministers and opposition leaders were too. Maybe then they would be a bit more careful in the future, both in policy matters and of the troops’ safety.


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