Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II unveiled the statue of seven bomber airmen from the Lancaster crew, in order to commemorate the 55,573 men of the RAF Bomber Command, who never returned home from World War II, on June 28, 2012.
The RAF Bomber Command carried out night raids over Germany's industrial cities, killing 300,000 German civilians, according to an article in the New York Times. 125,000 members of the British aircrew flew for the raids.
The memorial initially triggered controversy among officials from the German city of Dresden, one of the cities most affected by the bombing raids. The commemorative message on the statue, however, emphasized the memorial was dedicated to "those of all nations who lost their lives."
Over 6,000 guests attended the ceremony. Guests included members of the royal family, like Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, and World War II veterans in their 80s and 90s, many of whom flew in from over a dozen countries to come to the dedication.