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The Swiss Army wants to create a memorial for members of the armed forces who lost their lives in military service and for civilians who died as a result of a military accident. As the federal government of Switzerland announced on November 3rd, a competition has been started. The central memorial site is to be built on the grounds of the Lucerne Army Training Center. It is to be designed in 2021 and built in 2022. The opening is planned for the end of 2022.

Since the transfer of the “disposal over the armed forces” from the cantons to the federal government in 1874, numerous members of the armed forces have died in service. Civilians have died in military accidents. To this day, Switzerland lacks a central place where these people can be remembered collectively and in a dignified manner.

Armasuisse Immobilien is now organizing an open process ideas competition on behalf of the Swiss Army for the construction of such a memorial site. The procedure is subject to the provisions of public procurement. By working with experts from the fields of art and architecture, the memorial site is to receive broad support and recognition.

In the sense of a collective memorial, a symbolic place of respect, gratitude, memory and reconciliation will be created at the Army Training Center in Lucerne (AAL). It is important to the army to be able to commemorate their deceased in a central location. Commemorations, devotions and joint farewell ceremonies can only be carried out locally. It's about remembering the people who worked for the security of Switzerland every day - even in peacetime - and who paid for this commitment with their own lives. As a location for higher military leadership training, the Army Training Center is a meeting place for professional and militia personnel from the army and civil society. It is open to the public, centrally located and, with the adjacent park, offers a respectful atmosphere.

As part of the ideas competition, participants can submit their concept ideas until the end of January 2021. The proposals selected by a jury that will then meet should be worked out by June 2021. The winning project should then be implemented. The jury is made up of representatives from the fields of art, architecture and monument preservation as well as representatives of the army. The city and canton of Lucerne are closely involved in the project planning and support the project.

Andrè Forkert