The Monument for Denmarks’ Fallen in International Duty since 1948

 

2007 the Danish government decided that a monument were to be erected to commemorate the “International Duty of Denmark since 1948” in respect of those who have been serving in conflicts and disaster areas, for all those fallen during service, and for those in actual service. 1948 is the year, where Denmark sent its first UN-peacekeepers to the Middle East.

The monument was erected in”Prinsessens Bastion” in the north-east corner of the ”Kastellet”, and is conceived by the artist Finn Reinbothe.

It was inaugurated by Her Majesty the Queen on the “flag day” 2011 for those serving in foreign countries.

 
 

 HRH Prince of Wales Charles of England and 
HRH Crown prince Frederik of Denmark

 

September 5th was in 2009 introduced as the official Flag Day of Denmark to celebrate those sent out for international duty. The Flag Day and the monument is a token of the official appreciation of the engagements in conflict areas, and is marking the official honor to those more than 100.000 Danes sent out by our Government.

This monument is the place where the official Denmark is showing its respect for those send out by the Defense, Civil Defense, the Police and other authorities – in short: The official Denmark.

The monument is made of granite from Bornholm, and is consisting of three separate rooms, or areas with each its own focus and function. There is no center as such.

First and largest place is the Parade Square, where all big, official ceremonies are held. Here honors are received, speeches are held, music is played, and wreaths are laid. The background for all this is a wall with the inscription:

”En tid - Et sted - Et menneske”. (A Time – A Place – A Human)

Through an octagonal hole in the wall, one can see a flame from the parade Square – a eternal flame for the fallen and those currently in service, and thus in danger.

 
 

Through an opening in the same wall, you’ll enter the next room. This is the room for those in active service. On the wall are written the names of all the areas of conflict that Danes have served in since 1948.

The eternal fire is found here, burning on a fireplace of granite. The fireplace has the same geometry as the hole, and gives the impression that it has been cut out of the wall.

The third room is a room for reflection and remembrance. Here the names are written of all those who did not return alive since 1948, and here flowers are laid under their names.

In the center of this room is a well, reflecting the sky. Around the well is a bench, where one may sit in two ways. 

 
 

Wells are a central motive in the monument. Wells are places in continuation of the length of walls in the periphery of the monument. They are made of granite in form of an octagon, and are water filled up to 5 cm. from the edge.

The bottom is dark, and is not meant to be seen. In sunset the water will reflect the light of the lamps.

The well represent a common human place of meeting and communication. It is the life-giving place where people meet, talk with each other, share ideas and values, find a community and security and develop their culture.

The thoughts behind the monument are very beautiful, but it’s location is disputed.

Since 1953 the “Kastellet” has undergone continuing restoration, meant to bring it back to its look around 1784, where the best maps and drawings are dating from.

The modern monument surely is styled very different from the rest of the citadel.