Mansfield’s new memorial to the District’s servicemen and women who have been killed in action in modern day conflicts will be officially opened later this week.
Family representatives of the first seven men to be commemorated will unveil the memorial at a special celebration and blessing ceremony on Saturday, from 10am to 11am.
It will mark the culmination of a major appeal in the town, launched through Chad in October 2009 with a major military march in the town two months later.
Fundraising has continued ever since the parade and now the appeal total has topped £70,000 to fund the building of the memorial.
Hundreds of servicemen and women representing the Air Force, Army, Royal Navy, Merchant Navy, members of the Royal British Legion, Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, Col Roger Merryweather, High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire John Peace and special guests will join the seven families to lay wreaths and pay their respects to the seven heroes.
Regiments being represented include 2nd Bn Mercian, The Royal Anglian, The Royal Engineers, The Grenadier Guards and The Fleet Air Arm. They will be supported by cadets from all three services, as well as several ex-services associations.
Two pipers from Lincolnshire will be attending to play the Piper’s Lament alongside the Pleasley Colliery Brass Band, which will be playing in the park from 10am onwards as the crowds assemble.
The band will provide the bugler for the Last Post which will be sounded prior to two minutes’ silence being held at 11am.
Organisers of the event are keeping their fingers crossed that the Red Arrows will be providing a fly-past just after 11am.
“This is going to a truly momentous and proud day for everyone involved in making this dream become a reality.
“The seven families whose sons, brothers, uncles and brothers-in-law are being recognised will have the opportunity now and forever to see their names honoured on the new memorial.
“It is a testament to the generosity and determination of the people of Mansfield that this memorial now exists - it is something the whole town should be proud of forever, which is why we are inviting the whole of the town to come down to Carr Bank Park on the 25th to be part of this great event,” said a Heroes Fund spokesman.
Members of the public are asked to enter the park from the Portland Hotel entrance and walk down to the memorial to stand behind a line of barriers.
Parking spaces in the area are expected to be at a premium so it is advised that people park in town and walk down to Carr Bank Park.