Thursday, June 14, 2007

Heroes every one.

Veteran's march from Hollyrood Church through the Bargate to the Civic Centre last Sunday.

The 14th of June 1982 is a day of special significance for it was the day that Argentine forces surrendered and British forces took up positions in Stanley itself. Tonight a state banquet is being held at the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich where all the 146 solders, sailors and airmen decorated for bravery are invited. Yesterday the carrier Ark Royal sailed up the Thames and the commemorations continue over a four day period. A copy of The Telegraph detailing today's events, 25 years ago can be read HERE.
The Falklands War itself was remarkable; had the Islands been invaded a year later, it is doubtful that with Hermes and Invincible paid off and the massive decline in our merchant marine that we could have fought the campaign at all. Caspar Weinberger's extraordinary offer to let the UK have American carriers with British planes on may have gone some way to alleviating this but could he (should he) have delivered? Had the war happened a year later, many of the military personnel would have retired too as Margret Thatcher records in her memoirs. She herself may not have been in office, given the opposition to some of her economic policies and the growing band of critics, both from the Conservative back benches and from within the Cabinet with figures such as Gilmour and Prior.
Rightly, the Islanders will be celebrating their liberation and freedom today but the human cost was immense. 255 British personnel perished during the conflict and many more Argentine. I worry if we do enough to look after the widows and families left behind and the veterans themselves. I worry too if we teach enough about the war in our schools and if we have shown our gratitude enough publically to veterans and their families.
They were heroes every one.
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Blogger peterwatts said...

Here is a 360 panorama from HMS Ark Royal which was taken from the front of the flight deck and gives a unique perspective over Greenwich.

12:30 pm  
Blogger Matt Dean said...

Amazing picture.
Thank-you Peter.

7:20 pm  

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