The closing ceremony in London – billed as the Festival Of The Flame – lived up to its name as flame throwers, blazing torches and a gigantic heart of fire lit up the Olympic Stadium.
And Captain Luke Sinnott provided an emotional and fitting end to the event – hailed the best in history – by climbing a flagpole and proudly flying the Union Flag.
The courageous 32-year-old lost his limbs in 2010 after volunteering to search an area in Helmand Province "saturated" with improvised explosive devices to protect his comrades.
The spectacular and moving ceremony was another display of creativity and British eccentricity.
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.
The event also featured music stars Coldplay, Rihanna and Jay-Z.
Coldplay frontman Chris Martin said: "Being asked to play at the closing celebrations for the Paralympic athletes in London is such a great honour for us.
"It was one of the biggest nights of our lives and we were excited to try to create a performance for the last night of the Games that closed London 2012 in style."
Rihanna said: "Being at the Paralympics is the biggest honour. These athletes are gladiators and are a true inspiration to me."
The audience roared as Britain's joint flagbearers wheelchair racer David Weir and cyclist Sarah Storey, who each won four golds, were joined by athletes from each country.
ParalympicsGB excelled during the Games, beating their medal target of 103 in front of sell-out crowds and unprecedented television audiences.
Great Britain finished third in the table with a medal tally of 120 – 34 gold, 43 silver and 43 bronze.
The ceremony included some stunning effects and more than 1000 performers, including a cast of disabled artists who had spent weeks learning circus skills for the show.
Soldier Rory Mackenzie, whose leg was blown off by a roadside bomb in Iraq, praised Paralympians' "indomitable human spirit".
He told the crowd: "Tonight we bring you the Festival Of The Flame, the symbol of the spirit of the Games, which has burned bright at London 2012.
"Tonight we celebrate that spirit and although we have many differences, there is one quality we all share, one thing all of us have in common: human spirit.
"We have all been touched by the triumphs and drama of the Paralympics, witness to the indomitable human spirit of the athletes.
"We have come together in peace for the Games and through that respect for each other, found hope for the future."
London mayor Boris Johnson passed the Paralympic Flag to Eduardo Paes, the mayor of Rio, which hosts the 2016 event.
Swimming star Ellie Simmonds, 17, was joined by sprinting sensation Jonnie Peacock, 19, to play a part in the final moments of the Games.
As the Paralympic cauldron was extinguished they transferred the final flame to a London Paralympic Torch, which was then used to light hundreds of torches held by members of the cast throughout the field of play.
Fountains of water rose from circular stages to finally extinguish the Paralympic Flame.
The stunning send-off ended with a spectacular firework display that flashed over the Olympic Stadium and Park.
Fireworks lit up the sky along the Thames, including Tower Bridge and the words "Thank you London, thank you UK" were projected on to the Houses Of Parliament.