Aaron was chosen in a poll of thousands of Leeds residents to be
the subject of a sculpture marking the millennium.
Aaron was the only second-world-war serviceman from Leeds to be
awarded the Victoria Cross.
The statue was commissioned from Barnsley artist Graham Ibbeson
one of the country's most popular figurative sculptors.
He is also responsible for the celebrated statue of comedian Eric
The five-metre-high bronze sculpture on the Eastgate roundabout
represents the way Mr Aaron's life secured freedom for future generations.
Ibbeson says: "The sculpture is not just a war memorial. It
is dedicated to Aaron, but it is more about what he represents.
is celebrating the youth of children in Leeds and their future."
The scuplture was unveiled on Saturday 24 March 2001 by Malcolm
Mitchem is the last surviving member of the aircraft crew that the
dying Aaron helped fly safely home from Italy to Africa after being
attaked by a night fighter.
Aaron was selected from many other heroes and heroines of the city
- including Joshua Tetley, Quaker reformer Isabella Ford, and sculptor
Henry Moore - in a vote organised by the Leeds Civic Trust.
sculpture was funded by the Scurrah Wainwright Charity, run by The
Guardian journalist, Martin Wainwright.
The statue features the bomber pilot as a young man, who had just
graduated in architecture at the University of Leeds, standing at
the foot of a tree.
tree is being climbed by children from the period 1950-2000, with
the highest and smallest being a girl releasing the dove of peace.