Ceremony is held to unveil new Bradford war memorial

Ceremony is held to unveil new Bradford war memorial

Peter Rayner and Wendy Rayner, the father and widow of Sergeant Peter Rayner, who was killed in Afghanistan in September 2010

The service of dedication at the new memorial

First published in News

Thirty service men and women who have given their lives since 1947 were remembered and honoured during a dignified service today, led by the Bishop of Bradford.

Almost 200 people gathered to pay their respects and give thanks for the sacrifices the 30 had made during the ceremony to dedicate Bradford’s new Memorial Wall near the Alhambra Theatre.

Relatives, friends, veterans, dignitaries and the public listened as the Right Reverend Nick Baines opened this morning’s service, which was organised by Bradford Council.

He said: “We meet in the presence of God, to dedicate this memorial to the people of the city and district who have given their lives in the service of our country in conflicts since 1947.

“We recall their sacrifice and we commend to God all who, in bereavement, disability or pain, continue to suffer the consequences of warfare, fighting and terror.”

The Deputy Lieutenant, Major Stan Hardy, said it was a “honour” to be at the service.

Addressing relatives of those whose names are inscribed on the wall, he said: “To you these names are those with whom you lived and loved and no doubt had the odd disagreement. You bear your loss with great dignity and the pride you feel for your lost loved one is fully justified. We cannot share your pain, but please permit us to share your pride.

“Each name inscribed marks a life given for your protection and liberty.”

War widow Wendy Rayner, of Odsal, whose husband Sergeant Peter Rayner, 34, was killed in Afghanistan in September 2010 persuaded Bradford Council to set up a new memorial.

Speaking before this morning’s service, she thanked the Royal British Legion and former Bradford Council leader Ian Greenwood for their support.

“It’s going to be very emotional when they read out those names,” she said. “I will feel very emotional, but very proud too.”

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