A war hero who lost both legs in a blast on the battlefields of Helmand helped close the Paralympic Games - by climbing a flagpole and proudly flying the Union Flag.
Captain Luke Sinnott provided an emotional and fitting end to the London games - hailed the best in history.
The courageous 32-year-old lost his limbs in 2010 after volunteering to search an area "saturated" with improvised explosive devices to protect his comrades.
Stephen Daldry, London 2012's executive producer for all the opening and closing ceremonies described the flag unveiling as "devastatingly emotional".
Capt Sinnott, a keen sailor, is working towards his dream of competing at the Rio 2016 Paralympics in a boat funded by Help for Heroes.
Comrades from the charity played a key role in the opening minutes of the ceremony to support Capt Sinnott. The team joined forces to manoeuvre a heavy-wheeled machine to raise the flagpole.
Closing ceremonies artistic director Kim Gavin said: "We worked quite hard since April to get their performance right - it is really their endeavour. It is really a team effort from their point of view and has been quite emotional when you go down there and have worked with them. They are a fantastic bunch of people and they have been so collaborative as well."
Fifty four drummers created an avenue through which the Earl of Wessex, representing the Queen, and International Paralympic Committee chairman Sir Philip Craven entered the stadium.
They arrived in a custom-built car that began life as a military vehicle used in Afghanistan and was driven by Captain Tony Harris, who lost his left leg below the knee when he was caught in a blast in Sangin, Afghanistan in 2009.
Blind autistic singer Lissa Hermans, who also performed at the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this year, sang the National Anthem.