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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 August 2006, 15:46 GMT 16:46 UK
Bombing crews unveil war memorial
Memorial stone
The bombing campaign has always been controversial
A memorial has been unveiled at Lincoln Cathedral to honour the thousands of personnel from RAF Bomber Command who died in World War II.

Veterans have campaigned for 60 years to mark the deaths of 55,000 RAF crew during World War II bombing campaigns.

The cathedral served as a homecoming beacon for the bombers flying back from raids in Europe.

The raids have provoked controversy but organisers said the crews who served should to be remembered.

The raids included one of Britain's most controversial actions of the war: the firebombing of cities such as Dresden, which many critics of the memorial regard as a crime against humanity.

It is absolutely wonderful
Douglas Hudson, veteran
The philosopher, A.C. Grayling, who recently wrote a book about Bomber Command's strategy, felt the huge loss of life and the bombing tactics were two separate issues.

He said: "The way the memorial is worded is very careful. What it does is remember all the many who died in the skies in Germany in a very dangerous situation, which required great courage.

"What it doesn't do is imply whether the policy they were asked to carry out was justified."

Douglas Hudson, a former navigator with 100 squadron, helped unveil the memorial 66 years to the day since he was taken prisoner in North Africa.

He said: "What a contrast in situations. From behind bars, behind barbed wire with dysentery rife, with malnutrition, lacking in all decent amenities.

"And now in the hallowed precincts of Lincoln Cathedral for this poignant unveiling ceremony. It is absolutely wonderful."


SEE ALSO
Pacifists oppose bomber memorial
25 Aug 06 |  Lincolnshire
'Bomber county' to get memorial
24 Aug 06 |  Lincolnshire
Veterans call for bomber memorial
19 Nov 05 |  Lincolnshire

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