The memory of those who served our country during wars was honoured at a short but significant ceremony led by Minister for National Heritage, the Arts and Local Government Owen Bonnici, on the occasion of the upcoming Remembrance Day. The ceremony was held inside the chapel dedicated to St Anne at Fort St Elmo, which now houses a special section of the National War Museum set up as a Memorial.
Through a permanent display, the Memorial keeps alive the memory of Maltese soldiers, policemen and civilians who served and were awarded medals for their service during the First and Second World Wars, as well as other wars and periods.
The ceremony – a joint collaboration between Heritage Malta, the National Festivities Committee and Festivals Malta – entailed the laying of a poppy wreath, the observance of a minute of silence, and the sounding of Last Post and Reveille by members of the Police Corps.
Minister Bonnici said: “Today, as we gather in this sacred space, we remember and honor the service and sacrifice of our soldiers, policemen, and civilians during times of conflict.
“Their dedication to our nation will never be forgotten, the National War Museum’s Memorial stands as a lasting tribute to their courage and resilience, let us cherish their memory and the history they’ve written,” Minister Bonnici Concluded.
Following the ceremony, Minister Owen Bonnici was shown around the Memorial by Emmanuel Magro Conti, Heritage Malta’s Senior Curator for Palaces and Military.
The extensive collection in this section includes medals given to servicemen in the British Army, Navy and, later, in the Air Force, as well as a substantial number of medals awarded to civilians. Details about the awardee, as well as information as to why and when each medal was given, are provided on every interpretation panel in the Memorial.
Besides the medals, the section contains several other artefacts, such as the maquettes of local war monuments, and plaques donated to the Museum by ex-servicemen wishing to commemorate colleagues who died at war.