Prince Harry honored his late mother, Princess Diana, while speaking out against land mines on International Mine Awareness Day on Tuesday, April 4.
“She was an advocate for all those who she felt needed her voice most, whether it be marginalized men dying of AIDS in East London, ostracized sufferers of leprosy in India or the teenage girl who had lost her leg to a landmine in Angola,” the 32-year-old said at Kensington Palace in London. “She knew she had a big spotlight to shine, and she used it to bring attention on the people that others had forgotten, ignored or were too afraid to support.”
Prince Harry said that his mother, who died in a car crash at age 36 in 1997, was “shocked and appalled” by how much suffering land mines could bring to people. In June 1997, Princess Diana met with two victims who lost their legs because of the traps.
“Those two young boys, Malic and Zarko, are now grown men and are with us today. Twenty years on, they both still struggle with their physical and emotional injuries and with the high costs of replacing their prosthetics,” the Prince said. “When my mother said goodbye to Zarko that August before her untimely death, she told him that he would not be forgotten. Please help me keep her word to Zarko and Malic, and other people like them throughout the world who still need us to finish the job and rid this planet of land mines.”
The royal, who is dating Suits actress Meghan Markle, hopes that the dangerous devices won’t exist by 2025. “Collectively we have the knowledge, skill and resources to achieve it,” he said. “So let’s make future generations proud and finish what we started.”
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